Louisiana Tech, CIC host global IT leaders for consortium meeting

Oct 17, 2014 | Business, Engineering and Science, Research and Development

— Focus on growing state’s cyber economy via academia, industry and government collaboration — Representatives from leading global IT and cyber industry companies, federal and state defense and economic development agencies, and legislative delegates converged on north Louisiana last week for a meeting of the Louisiana Cyber and Data Consortium (LACDC) – a collaborative endeavor of Louisiana Tech University and the Cyber Innovation Center in Bossier City. [ File # csp1267426, License # 1257711 ]Licensed through in accordance with the End User License Agreement ( Can Stock Photo Inc. / kgtohThe LACDC represents a broad range of constituencies from academia, industry, and government with interests in the security and protection of Louisiana’s assets from cyber and related threats, in the storage and management of large data sets, and in the use of large data sets for analytical and business decisions. The meeting served as a platform for discussing issues that affect the growth and sustained prosperity of knowledge-based industries here in Louisiana and the nation. “The importance of a highly secure and dynamic cyber infrastructure cannot be overstated,” said Dr. Stan Napper, vice president for research and development at Louisiana Tech. “The strength of Louisiana Tech’s academic programs and research activities are producing graduates who are ready to meet the needs of international, industry-leading companies. In working closely and collaboratively with partners like the Cyber Innovation Center and the members of the LACDC, Louisiana Tech will play an important role in preserving the integrity of our region’s and our nation’s cyber resources.” The LACDC was established to provide a forum for cybersecurity, big data, and data center professionals in the region to gather together to discuss important cyber, data and datacenter related topics, network and share ideas to support the development of related engineering and computer science degree programs at Louisiana Tech. The Consortium also serves as an informal advisory body to the State of Louisiana as the state continues with plans and activities to attract more cyber related industries to the region. LACDC membership includes companies such as Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC), CenturyLink, IBM, GE Capital, and Dell. These industry leaders believe that, given Louisiana’s position as a major global port and source of energy, chemicals, and goods for the nation, the impacts of cyber attacks on state’s assets could be a threat to national security. The LACDC member organizations meet regularly to discuss strategies and opportunities to support these traditional industries as well as the burgeoning IT and software development industries in Louisiana. “The impact of the LACDC on Louisiana will be multi-faceted,” said G.B Cazes, vice president and assistant director of the Cyber Innovation Center (CIC.) “From an education and training perspective, students will have a more direct pathway from the classroom to career while receiving the training needed to ensure success and career growth in their respective fields. From a business perspective, the consortium will look to address common cyber problems faced by industry and through collaboration leveraging the unique assets of the group to create real solutions. “From a state perspective, the LACDC highlights Louisiana’s successful growth of the IT sector in the state and unique assets the state has to offer – the consortium will work to leverage the collective strength of the group to bring even more attention to the state and continued improvement of the IT infrastructure across the state.” In addition to its broader impacts on the region’s cyber and IT industries, the LACDC will provide Louisiana Tech students with greater internship opportunities and more direct connection to future employers. The Consortium sponsored a “Cyber Career and Internship Seminar” recently where industry and government cybersecurity practitioners met informally with students to describe the latest career opportunities and how best to pursue them. LACDC will also benefit Louisiana Tech faculty by identifying and supporting cyber research that is directed to solving the collective cyber problems of the group. During research presentations to the Consortium, the faculty briefed multiple technologies that were of significant interest to the industry and government members, generating further collaboration. Concurrently, the consortium will help to advance the CIC’s economic development mission. Through this consortium, the CIC plans to build programs and launch initiatives to continue building the development of the cyber economic engine of the state. “I believe the future is bright for the LACDC,” said Cazes. “Over the next five years, we will grow our membership to include companies of various sizes and from a wide variety of sectors. We’ll also include representatives from a variety of academic institutions. The consortium will have established programs to support recruiting and internship programs across the state, partnering to accelerate and grow the knowledge-based economy across the state. “I see the LACDC making great strides in advancing cyber research and technology development.”