The Department of Defense (DoD) has launched the DoD University Consortium for Cybersecurity (UC2) to better facilitate communication between the Secretary of Defense and academia, and fulfilling a requirement from the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act, DoD announced Jan. 10.

The National Defense University’s College of Information and Cyberspace (CIC) will serve as the UC2 Coordination Center. Jim Chen, a CIC faculty member, will be the coordination center’s first director.

“As part of both DOD and academia, CIC is a natural hub for thought leadership on strategic cyber issues, and we’re so happy to serve as the UC2 coordination center,” Cassandra Lewis, CIC chancellor, said at the UC2 kickoff event on Jan. 7.

UC2 already has its fair share of supporters in the DoD. David Frederick, executive director of U.S. Cyber Command; Lt. Gen. Dennis Crall, director of the Joint Staff CIO; and DoD Chief Technology Officer Heidi Shyu, under secretary of Defense for research and engineering, all came to the kickoff event to show their support.

Shyu emphasized the importance of not only focusing on larger research universities, and advocated for working with community colleges and historically black colleges and universities as well. “Diversity of ideas will create the best innovation,” she said.

The University of Idaho’s Center for Secure and Dependable Systems will serve as a support center for UC2.

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