Georgia will open a 330,000 square foot cybersecurity facility in Augusta July 10, the first of two buildings that will make up the Georgia Cyber Center, and build on the investment in the region from Army Cyber Command.
When complete, the facility will be home to cybersecurity research, training and operations.
The state-owned facility will cost $100 million by the time it is completed.
The construction of the facility reflects a recent push by the state and city governments to develop the cybersecurity industry in Augusta after Army Cyber Command announced its move to Fort Gordon, which will be completed by 2020.
“This visionary approach to cybersecurity underscores our commitment to encouraging innovation and developing a deep talent pool ready to establish Georgia as the safest state in the nation for today’s leaders in technology,” Nathan Deal, Georgia’s governor, said in a press release.
The Army announced it was moving Army Cyber Command headquarters to Fort Gordon, which is outside of Augusta, in 2013. New facilities supporting Army Cyber Operations and Command are expected to be completed in 2019, with the move completed by the end of 2020.
The move is predicted to initially bring 1,500 active duty military, government civilian and contract personnel jobs to Augusta, according to a report by the Augusta Economic Development Authority.
The state’s Hull McKnight building was constructed with the goal of incorporating students and professionals to the growing cybersecurity industry.
“The concept here is that you have a place where a student can walk out of the classroom directly across the hall to do an internship,” Brooks Keel, president of Augusta University told Govtech.com.
Both Augusta University and Augusta Technical college partnered with the Georgia Cyber Center to provide cybersecurity education at the facility. It will provide certificate, undergraduate and graduate level programs.
The second building at the center will include space for partnerships that will include the Army.
The center also will house the Georgia Cyber Range and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s Cyber Crime Unit.
The Georgia Cyber Range is a practice and testing environment for both students and professionals. Users will be able to practice incident response, conduct testing and access tools to strengthen and secure cyber infrastructures, according to the center’s website.
The Georgia Cybercrime Unit, a department within the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, will be created this year and based out of the Cyber Center in Augusta. The unit will be made up of a team of recently trained investigators and forensic examiners who will focus on cybercrimes.
The Cybercrime Unit also hopes to take advantage of the other organizations at the center.
While the Army Cyber Command is in the process of moving to Fort Gordon, construction on the second building of the Georgia Cyber Center is expected to be complete by the end of 2018.
Maddy is a senior at George Washington University studying economics.