Cybersecurity-related programs to help Northwest Florida recover from impact of Deepwater Horizon oil spill

Kennedy Space Center and Pensacola, Fla. (MAY 26, 2015) – 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.  

About Space Florida: Space Florida was created to strengthen Florida’s position as the global leader in aerospace research, investment, exploration and commerce. As Florida’s aerospace and spaceport development authority, we are committed to attracting and expanding the next generation of space industry businesses. With its highly trained workforce, proven infrastructure and unparalleled record of achievement, Florida is the ideal location for aerospace businesses to thrive – and Space Florida is the perfect partner to help them succeed.

About the University of West Florida: Founded in 1963, the University of West Florida is vibrant, distinctive institution of higher learning with undergraduate, graduate and targeted research programs. With multiple locations in Northwest Florida, the University serves a student population of more than 12,000. Dedicated to helping students realize their full potential, UWF favors small class sizes with quality teacher-scholars who deliver personalized, innovative, hands-on learning and leadership opportunities.