LSU Applied Research Center Positions Louisiana as a U.S. Cybersecurity Hub

03/30/2017

BATON ROUGE – An organization at LSU that provides solutions for the defense and intelligence communities has received contracts totaling nearly $5 million from the U.S. Department of Defense for the university’s growing cybersecurity expertise. Two large cybersecurity contracts have been awarded to Nascent Technologies Corporation, or NTC.

NTC was established in 2016 to support the Transformational Technologies & Cyber Research Center, or TTCRC, LSU’s applied defense research unit created with support from Louisiana Economic Development, or LED. LED established a performance-based framework with benchmarks TTCRC must reach to grow and accelerate with further support from the state. TTCRC is the first applied research entity to successfully reach LED’s benchmarks.

“The Transformational Technology & Cyber Research Center at LSU demonstrates what we can accomplish when we capitalize on our brainpower, our research capacity and our desire to make a difference in today’s world,” Gov. John Bel Edwards said. “What’s particularly exciting about TTCRC’s potential is that we are touching many lives for the better by working with the federal military complex, our own Louisiana National Guard on homeland security, and the private sector on technology solutions that can protect the marketplace.”

LSU President F. King Alexander added, “As the state’s flagship university, LSU plays a vital role in providing the educational, scientific and technological solutions that will create the economy of the future. Our interconnected world offers many challenges and opportunities.”

With the proliferation of smart devices and connected industrial operations, the state’s position as the epicenter of the country’s energy, chemical manufacturing and shipping industries makes it a strategic location for cybersecurity experts conducting cutting-edge research and solving today’s challenges related to critical infrastructure cybersecurity.

“Several large industries have contacted us. They’ve identified vulnerabilities and viruses that can attack industrial systems. The threat of a cyber-attack is a major concern for companies and U.S. security,” said Jeff Moulton, NTC president and CEO, who is also the executive director of TTCRC and the Stephenson National Center for Security Research and Training.

NTC has been contracted to identify and assess the risk and exposure in the energy industry supply chain. Rather than looking at a static snapshot in time at a company’s information technology assets, the researchers focus on the dynamic phenomena surrounding a breach to better predict and prevent it. This research aims to help industry and the nation protect critical energy infrastructure and increase cyber resiliency. NTC is partnering with Huntsville, Ala.-based Radiance Technologies, a $115 million U.S. Department of Defense contractor, which recently opened an office at the Louisiana Emerging Technology Center on the LSU campus.

“We’ve had a great experience and partnership with the professors and staff at Louisiana Tech,” said Assistant Vice President Heath Berry of Radiance Technologies. “LSU is also a top-tier university, and the TTCRC provides strong research capabilities that assist in our long-term, strategic goals for my group and the company. I work in the Cyber Solutions Group at Radiance, so most of the projects we pursue will be in that area and open the door for many different paths of collaboration.”

The second contract secured by NTC is to coordinate information to build an integrated, real-time digital environment to address intelligence gaps between the U.S. and its many Caribbean partners. Because the Caribbean comprises multiple countries, intelligence gaps can naturally emerge, hindering the ability to blunt trafficking and other malicious activity. NTC’s new capability will help the U.S. Department of Defense, the U.S. Coast Guard and law enforcement work directly with foreign partner nations throughout the Caribbean as well as Central and South America to ensure better visibility, response and strategy.

From energy to aerospace, “Louisiana has many pockets of influence, and like unorganized music notes on a stanza, you don’t get music unless they’re organized correctly,” Moulton said, describing the concept behind TTCRC. “If we could just rearrange our notes in the right way, Louisiana could be a powerhouse in cybersecurity.”

Through LED, the State of Louisiana is funding TTCRC research at a rate of $1 for each $10 in research funding attracted by the cyber center. At the same time, LSU is matching $0.50 for each $10 in research funding attracted. Those state matches continue until TTCRC reaches $30 million in applied research activity and continues on a self-sustaining basis.

 

 

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Contact Alison Satake
LSU Media Relations
225-578-3870
asatake@lsu.edu