Space Florida, the state’s aerospace and spaceport development authority, has signed a three-year memorandum of understanding with the University of West Florida Center for Research and Economic Opportunity to further develop Florida’s cybersecurity technologies.
CREO’s mission includes helping Northwest Florida communities recover from the negative economic impacts of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, which disproportionally affected eight coastal Panhandle counties.
In recent years, cybersecurity-related programs have expanded in this area through the U.S. Navy Center for Information Dominance and the Department of Homeland Security Computer Emergency Readiness Team.
Space Florida and UWF will work together to determine opportunities to further develop and transfer these technologies to the commercial sector, when possible.
“Space Florida looks for partnerships with universities that can help increase the number of high-tech jobs in our state,” said Space Florida President and CEO Frank DiBello. “UWF has a record of developing science and technology-based innovations, and we look forward to working with them to create the next generation of cybersecurity solutions.”
Northwest Florida has a long history in space, aeronautics and cybersecurity-related programs, said Brice Harris, assistant vice president of CREO.
“The cybersecurity industry here provides a prime opportunity to foster economic growth and job creation in the panhandle and Space Florida has the capabilities to help ensure these tech programs see commercial application,” Harris said.