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Lockheed Martin gives $1.5 million to develop new cyber innovation lab at University of Central Flor

Lockheed Martin gives $1.5 million to develop new cyber innovation lab at University of Central Florida

Lockheed Martin has announced a $1.5 million contribution to the University of Central Florida (UCF) for the development of a new cyber innovation lab that will foster the next generation of cyber talent.

The Lockheed Martin Cyber Innovation Lab ensures UCF remains on the forefront of educating and empowering our nation's future cyber experts. UCF provides more graduates to aerospace and defense companies than any other university in the country, and UCF's Cyber Defense Club is a three-time national champion in the Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition.

"Our contribution is an investment in the future of students at UCF, the city of Orlando and the broader aerospace community," said Tom Warner, director of Lockheed Martin's Cyber Defense, Range and Resilience organization. "The nation is facing a challenge filling the pipeline of cyber talent, and we see it as our duty to partner with communities, our customers and academia to create resources that inspire and prepare young people for a career in this critical field."

"This state-of-the-art space will help better prepare our students to safeguard and strengthen our country's systems and networks," said UCF President Dale Whittaker. "We are grateful for Lockheed Martin's vision and partnership as we work together to meet the cyber security workforce demands of the future."

The innovation lab will open its doors in early 2019 to more than 350 students participating in cyber programs at UCF, expanding the pipeline for the nation's future cyber talent. The 970-foot lab, which will be located in the atrium of UCF's Engineering I building, will serve as a learning hub, classroom and the practice center for UCF's Cyber Defense Club. A public ribbon cutting ceremony and associated Cyber Security Summit is planned for February 2019.

According to a recent study published by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, there's a dangerous shortage of cybersecurity workers in the United States, with more than 13,000 unfilled cybersecurity jobs in Florida alone. For example, the Bureau of Labor Statistics expects jobs for information security analysts to grow by 28 percent by 2026, four times greater than average job growth. Florida is one of the top five states in the country for information security employment.

Lockheed Martin's Cyber Solutions business in Orlando has grown by 400 percent over the past five years and continues to grow in response to the nation's critical need for offensive and defensive cyber security capabilities in today's evolving threat environment.

Lockheed Martin provides paid work experience to approximately 650 UCF students a year and hires more graduates from UCF than any other university in the country.

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