NIST to Fund National Cybersecurity Network; Other Nations Invest in Cybersecurity R&D

May 26, 2016

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) released a federal funding opportunity (FFO) to establish and sustain up to eight Regional Alliances and Multistakeholder Partnerships to Stimulate (RAMPS) Cybersecurity Education and Workforce Development. Through this announcement, NIST will commit up to $1.6 million for state or regional consortiums that identify cybersecurity workforce development pathways that address local workforce needs. Although lead organizations must be a nonprofit or institution of higher education, NIST encourages public-private partnerships with industry and local governments. Proposals are due July 12, 2016.

As cybersecurity becomes an increasingly vital element of national security, other countries also are announcing significant cybersecurity strategies focused heavily on investments in R&D. Large-scale efforts are being undertaken in Australia, China, and the United Kingdom.

In Australia, the federal government will commit up to 230 million AUD (165.9m USD) in 2016 into a national cyber security strategy released in April that is comprised of 33 new initiatives to help bolster the country’s cyber capabilities. To help achieve this goal, the country intends to focus on creating and growing the country’s cyber security businesses as well as generate economic prosperity through job creation. The proposal also includes strategies to better connect government, researchers and business including regular meetings to strengthen leadership and tackle emerging issues.

China launched the CyberSecurity Association of China – a public-private partnership comprised of over 250 members from academic institutes, internet companies, and other individuals in March. The National Non-profit Organization will bring together key stakeholders to support cybersecurity as well as invest in technologies and industrial development that improve cyber security in the country. They also will develop cyber security policies and other cyber governance efforts.

In April, the United Kingdom (UK) announced that it will commit up to £1.9 billion (2.8 billion USD) in investment over the next five years to increase the country’s cyber security. The funding will be based on the opportunities and challenges identified by the 2016 annual report for the country’s current cybersecurity plan – UK Cyber Security Strategy 2011-2016. The proposed funding for the country’s Cyber Security Programme will include the creation of a national cyber security center as well as continuing the growth apprenticeship programs and other career and education programs. The report also calls for investments in R&D and funding for cybersecruity startups. Late in 2016, the UK government will release a plan that includes more details about the country’s efforts. 

cybersecurity, nist