Augusta’s cyber center seeks environment for innovation

Augusta’s cyber center seeks environment for innovation

A mix of large companies, small companies, academics and government together can create the right ecosystem for innovation, official says.

A recent large expansion at Georgia Cyber Center also points to the need to allow space for smaller companies to come in and grow at the center as it fosters innovation, an official said.

Parsons Corp. will add 80 positions and take over a floor in the Shaffer MacCartney Building at the center and those kinds of expansions are important, said Michael Shaffer, executive vice president for strategic partnerships and economic development at Augusta University, which is managing the center. Having a big company like Parsons there helps add to the “ecosystem” the center is trying to create in a mix of private companies, universities and college and government agencies like the Georgia Bureau of Investigations Cyber Crime Center, he said.

The cyber center is now around 25 percent academia, close to 40 percent government and over 40 percent industry and that is the mix officials wanted to see, Shaffer said.

“That is the magic of Georgia Cyber Center that doesn’t exist anywhere else, which is industry, academia and government in one building,” he said. And that creates the right ecosystem to foster collaboration that can then aid agencies at Fort Gordon like the U.S. Army Cyber Command, which will complete moving its headquarters there next year, Shaffer said.

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