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Innovation Day connects industry, military personnel

Innovation Day connects industry, military personnel

Article originally posted on Fort Gordon Globe. 

By Laura Levering

The U.S. Army Cyber Center of Excellence and U.S. Army Signal School hosted a Cyberspace Network Operations and Security Innovation Day March 8 at Gordon Conference and Catering Center.

Innovation Day is a semi-annual event presented by National Conference Service Inc., a national leader in event planning and production that serves the specialized needs of the Department of Defense, intelligence community, and federal government.

Emilee Leichman, NCSI event manager, said the main purpose of the Innovation Day is to bring industry and government together in a forum where they can discuss challenges regarding the mission and share ideas for solutions.

The event focused on cyberspace operations and security, but military and civilians from all backgrounds were encouraged to attend. About 40 companies participated in the event providing live demonstrations and product displays for military personnel to view.

And while the expo was an important aspect of Innovation Day, it was only a part of it. The event also featured six seminars in which military personnel had an opportunity to earn continuing education credits. Each session was about 45 minutes long.

One session, “Fort Gordon Cyber District Development,” was presented by Dr. Tom Clark, CSRA Alliance for Fort Gordon. Clark previously served as the senior enlisted advisor to the Fort Gordon commanding general before retiring. Now he advocates for this region and the Servicemembers who live here.

His presentation centered on the growth and transformation of Fort Gordon and the Central Savannah River Area, which includes seven counties spanning across Georgia and South Carolina.

Fort Gordon and the CSRA faces an exciting future as growth and transformation continue to occur. Quality of life improvements are being made for those already here and also to ensure that those moving to the CSRA from other regions to support U.S. Army Cyber Command are enthusiastic about moving. Millions of dollars in construction and expansion projects are underway in support of ARCYBER.

Clark said the Fort Gordon has grown by 25 percent since 2012, bringing an estimated 1,000 people to the area every year for the last five years.

Putting the impact in perspective, Clark said, “If you’re talking 1,000 people over a year, that’s 1,000 more haircuts, 1,000 more hairdressers, 1,000 more dry cleans, more ice cream … it affects the entire community.”

In total, there is more than a $2 billion a year economic impact on the region, he added.

“We will absolutely be able to compete and draw those folks here with our quality of life and with our low cost of living,” Clark said.

Although Clark’s presentation did not center on cyberspace network innovations or security, it was one of the day’s highlights for many.

“The companies that are here – some of them attended to hear what was going on with the new Cyber District and see how they can become a part of that action,” Leichman said. “For the Soldiers, the big piece is education and collaboration.”