"My phone is ringing off the hook" from companies that want to partner with the university"
Northrop joins other companies in teaming up with universities on cybersecurity research
By Marjorie Censer
Monday, November 15, 2010
As cybersecurity emerges as a potentially lucrative market for industry, contractors are turning to universities to help them conduct research and provide future employees.
Northrop Grumman and the University of Maryland Baltimore County became the latest to team up, announcing last week that the university's Research Park Corp. and the contractor will establish a new cybersecurity incubator.
Called "Cync," the program will give early-stage companies with cybersecurity ideas access to UMBC and Northrop expertise and resources.
UMBC's research park has long provided incubation services for technology and bioscience companies, but saw an opportunity in cybersecurity when approached by Northrop Grumman about six months ago, said Ellen Hemmerly, executive director of the UMBC Research Park Corp.
The University of Maryland at College Park, too, has paired up with industry partners, including Bethesda-based Lockheed Martin and McLean-based Science Applications International Corp. This summer, Lockheed committed to invest a minimum of $1 million per year for three years as part of a strategic agreement with the university.
"I think we've done a good job in the past in terms of government-university partnerships," said Patrick O'Shea, chair of the University of Maryland at College Park's electrical and computer engineering department. "We need to do a better job in the government-industry arena."
O'Shea said a partnership is useful to both sides; industry gets the research infrastructure and the young potential employees it needs while universities find a source of funding and help their students identify career paths.
"My phone is ringing off the hook" from companies that want to partner with the university, O'Shea said.
SAIC works with both the University of Maryland at College Park and UMBC as well as schools across the nation, including the University of Virginia and Virginia Tech.
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November 15, 2010