Center for Cyber Innovation

More than a margin

Elevating Cyber at the Academy

A cyber attack on the United States could take aim at a variety of vulnerable targets, and the country’s defenders will need a combination of technological expertise, defense strategies and extensive private sector partnerships to stop one.

The new United States Air Force Center for Cyber Innovation, to be built on the east edge of the cadet area overlooking Stillman Parade Field, will have a direct influence on the Air Force’s preparedness for cyber warfare. The facility and its programs will bring together cadets, faculty, industry partners and other cyber experts to address Air Force-related cyber issues.

The Center for Cyber Innovation received more than $11 million in funding in 2018

Anonymous donor – An anonymous donor provided $8.5 million toward the construction of this important facility, the largest gift made in support of the Academy to date.

Cubic Corporation Cubic, an important research and capstone partner at the Academy, pledged $1 million to the center. The company will have naming rights for the center’s lounge area.

The Class of ’78 – For its class giving project, the Class of ’78 has set a goal of raising $3 million for the Center for Cyber Innovation’s building fund. At the end of 2018, the class had collected more than half of its goal, $1.6 million.

Two lab spaces have received startup funding from donors.

  • Terry O’Donnell ’66 provided funding for the Industrial Control and Platform Security Lab, which will house the Academy’s Cyber City. 
  • The Class of ’87 is taking on the initial costs to outfit the Cyber Security, Networking, Radio Frequency, and Telecommunications Lab.

Numbers to know

“The future cyber fight is going to be based off of a combination of industry, public and private partnerships, working together to try to solve problems,” says Col. David Caswell, head of the Department of Computer and Cyber Sciences. “If we want to succeed in this as a war fight, we have to bring all of the organizations together, and that’s what this building will do.” 

The United States Air Force Academy Endowment has been charged with raising money to help outfit the building and ensure its ability to adapt to technological change.

  • $45 million in private funding
  • $30 million in military construction
  • Three floors and a mezzanine
  • Ability to work on 10 simultaneous design projects for AF CyberWorx
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Check out artist renderings

The building’s architect has created renderings to provide a look at how the Center for Cyber Innovation will fit into the Academy layout and to show what the interior should feel like when completed. Final interior and exterior drawings for the building or for the interior layout have not been released.

The importance of cyber

The federal government has allocated $30 million to help with construction of the new U.S. Air Force Center for Cyber Innovation. The USAFA Endowment is charged with raising an additional $45 million to assist the missions within the center expand capabilities, reach, and ultimately, impacts.

Donors will help create state-of-the-art laboratories, classrooms, and design space to enhance the academic, training, design, and research and development capabilities for cadets while significantly improving the public/private partnership opportunities across the installation.

Outfitting the U.S. Air Force Center for Cyber Innovation with state-of-the-art technology will accelerate cyber research and development capabilities, providing quicker solutions to critical problems that are vital to success in modern warfare.

Private funding will help convert government-funded labs into state-of-the-art spaces, including hardware, software, and other technology and equipment. Labs will focus on:

  • Cyber law, policy, digital humanities and ethics
  • Cyber security, networking, radio frequency and telecommunications
  • Cyber training (2)
  • Forensics and reverse engineering
  • Immersive environments, data visualization and decision support
  • Industrial control and platform security
  • Cross-domain command and control
  • Robotics and autonomous systems
  • Vehicles.
What's next?

Preparing for the future

Cadets, researchers, faculty and industry partners will collaborate extensively as they work through Air Force problems. The building’s  open and inviting spaces foster better cadet engagement, Caswell says.

“That engagement is not just in the classroom but also in the research and design, also in design sprints, also with the partnership with industry. And that facility provides that ability to have this wonderful connection between both the commercial environment and the operational environment so we can bring all the different players together to solve hard problems and to have cadets directly engaged in that solution space,” he said.

The lessons cadets learn from all of the cyber partners involved with the center will prepare them for the continued cyber challenges faced by the Air Force during their officer careers.

Want to help provide more than a margin now?

Gifts made today in support of the Academy foster cadet exploration, engagement and discovery. They help develop a well versed and more experienced officer in the United States Air Force.

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