Commonwealth Cyber Initiative’s Network Certified

New River Valley – The Commonwealth Cyber Initiative’s (CCI) statewide network was certified this week by the Virginia Research Investment Committee. The goal of the CCI is to bring together the strengths of Virginia’s higher education institutions, industries, and government to collectively develop technologies and train talent in order to prevent cyber crimes.


Four, university-led nodes were established engaging 320 faculty members across 39 higher education institutions, as well as 65 private companies, four federal partners, and 45 other regional partners. This platform will position Virginia to be a leader in the intersection of cybersecurity and data analytics, machine learning, and autonomous systems. Starting in 2020, Virginia has budgeted $20 million annually to support creating an ecosystem to generate cyber-related research, education, and statewide engagement.

“CCI is here to differentiate Virginia as a leader in cybersecurity education, research, and business startups – especially commercial startups,”

– Jeff Reed, Interim Executive Director, CCI

The program will establish two initiatives within the network, the CCI Fellows Program and a 5G test bed. The Fellows Program will focus on research and program development among faculty from across the state. This collaboration will also support the development and utilization of the 5G test bed. The test bed will provide the opportunity to develop and demonstrate cybersecurity technologies and solutions in order to get in front of potential security threats.

Now that the nodes have been certified, the next steps are to engage with the Virginia Research Investment Committee’s working group, regional leaders, and the broader network community to establish each node’s strategic plan. With Virginia Tech heading the southwest Virginia node, exciting opportunities lie ahead for the information technology and unmanned systems industries in the New River Valley.


Virginia’s New River Valley: Virginia’s New River Valley is an eclectic mix of interconnected small towns that each offer their own unique vibe and appeal. The region provides an abundance of cultural and social offerings due to the presence of three world-class universities, while retaining the charm and benefits of small town living. The NRV is home to a diverse and innovative business community with companies that range from high-tech startups to foreign-based corporations to specialty agribusiness. These organizations benefit from the collaborative spirit of our region and a loyal, highly-skilled, and educated workforce. The scenic beauty of the region also fosters a deep connection to nature, which is deepened by access to outdoor recreation and the preservation of our natural environment. It’s clear why Virginia’s New River Valley is “A Natural Fit.”

Onward NRV: Onward NRV is a public/private, regional economic development organization whose mission is to attract and retain world class jobs, investment, and talent in Virginia’s New River Valley. It’s also a movement where leaders from business, government, and higher education work together to promote the economic vitality of the region.

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