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New Consortium for Cyber Innovation to Increase Opportunities for Cybersecurity Workforce Development – UAPB News

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UAPB, UA Little Rock, Forge Institute and Acxiom Partner to Establish CCI

Chancellor Laurence B. Alexander, third from left, stands with UA Little Rock Chancellor Christina Drale, fourth from left; UAPB Vice Chancellor of Research, Innovation and Economic Development Mansour Mortazavi, far left; Interim Chair of Department of Mathematics and Computer Science Karl Walker, second from left; UA Little Rock …….

UAPB, UA Little Rock, Forge Institute and Acxiom Partner to Establish CCI

Chancellor Laurence B. Alexander, third from left, stands with UA Little Rock Chancellor Christina Drale, fourth from left; UAPB Vice Chancellor of Research, Innovation and Economic Development Mansour Mortazavi, far left; Interim Chair of Department of Mathematics and Computer Science Karl Walker, second from left; UA Little Rock faculty and Forge Institute CEO Lee Watson, far right, at announcement of Consortium

On Wednesday, Dec. 1, Chancellor Laurence B. Alexander, along with UA Little Rock Chancellor Christina Drale, Forge Institute and Acxiom, announced the creation of the Consortium for Cyber Innovation (CCI), which will develop and align cyber education and grow applied research capabilities in Arkansas.

“CCI is potentially a game-changer for economic development in the state of Arkansas,” Chancellor Alexander said. “Cyber security, data science and emerging technologies are experiencing phenomenal growth in our state, our nation and the world. This is an important step forward in the expansion of our efforts in cyber technology and innovation for UAPB, and it is yet another way that our state is advancing through computer technology. As our state’s land-grant Historically Black University, UAPB is hopeful that our priorities of expanding computer education and the cyber workforce will lead to a more diverse industry workforce, reaching many of our underrepresented populations.”

The Consortium’s main objective is to create a strategic regional industry cluster in emerging technologies that will support national defense and enhance Arkansas as a Cyber Defense State. Through public-private partnerships and strategic initiatives, the Consortium will provide next-level student, industry, and research experiences and create flexible workforce, academic credentials and industry entryways into cybersecurity and data science. This work will expand the cyber workforce and build regional capacity to support economic development and growth across industry sectors as Arkansas recovers from the economic impacts of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The Consortium brings UAPB together with a public urban research university, and a private non-profit with plans to add partners across Arkansas and the Midsouth as it scales research and education initiatives.

“UA Little Rock is committed to growing a talented workforce of highly skilled cyber professionals in central Arkansas,” Chancellor Drale said. Today’s announcement takes our commitment a step further because we know we are stronger when we work together with partners in higher education, industry, government, non-profit organizations like Forge Institute and others. We are building the future of our state as we pursue the common goal of ensuring national security through strategic and collaborative workforce development, research and innovation.”

“The Consortium for Cyber Innovation is monumental to developing our high-tech workforce and developing new capabilities to prevent, detect and mitigate emerging technology risks to businesses, including our nation’s critical infrastructure,” said Lee Watson, CEO of the Forge Institute. “Both campuses already have outstanding undergraduate and graduate Computer Science programs, cybersecurity resources and world-class faculty. We’re excited to lend our …….

Source: https://uapbnews.wordpress.com/2021/12/02/new-consortium-for-cyber-innovation-to-increase-opportunities-for-cybersecurity-workforce-development/