Industries Economic Development

Virginia launches public-private partnership focused on cyber security

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The commonwealth has launched Semper Secure, a public-private partnership designed to extend Virginia’s leadership in cyber security.

Funded collaboratively by the state government and industry, Semper will focus on the key development issues in cyber security: ensuring work-force preparedness and availability, advancing educational programs and knowledge base, fostering entrepreneurship, and encouraging global engagement.

The partnership will spearhead a host of activities including research, digital engagement, and conferences targeted at building an initiative to expand Virginia’s cyber security expertise and industry.

“Cyber security is the looming justice and national security concern of the coming decade,” Gov. Bob McDonnell said in a statement. “Virginia is uniquely positioned to shape the emerging cyber frontier with a leading-edge technology community, a workforce experienced in national security and law enforcement, and an educational system strong in math and science. We must ensure that Virginia remains a leader on issues of security, technology, and innovation.”

Virginia has the highest concentration of technology professionals in the U.S. and is ranked fourth nationally in total high-tech employment.

Virginia also is also home to numerous federally funded research and development centers and Department of Defense research centers, and key leap-ahead technology agencies, such as the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

Semper Secure will have an independent board of directors, including cyber security leaders from government and industry
The Virginia secretary of technology will serve as chairman of the board.

Early supporters of the program include Falls Church-based Northrop Grumman Corp. and NetApp, a Silicon Valley company with operations in Virginia.

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