A partnership between the Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) and the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) Research Park Corporation will create a new incubator tailored to the specific challenge of developing technology to protect the nation from a growing range of cyber threats.
The Northrop Grumman Cync Program will build on bwtech@UMBC’s successful business-incubation framework by offering a “scholarship program” for companies with the most promising cybersecurity ideas. Participants in the program will draw on UMBC’s research expertise and Northrop Grumman resources to develop tools that will secure and protect the computer hardware, software and networks vital to national defense.
The Cync Program will accept applications from high-potential, early-stage companies from across the country looking to commercialize and develop their technologies. The companies will collaborate in the Advantage Incubator at the bwtech@UMBC Research and Technology Park in Baltimore.
“Northrop Grumman is excited to partner with bwtech on this important initiative,” said Chris Valentino, Northrop Grumman cybersecurity director and technical fellow. “This technology is even more important as our reliance on cybersecurity increases, and collaborating with both academia and small businesses brings a breadth of technological expertise that goes beyond what any one entity is able to supply.”
Ellen Hemmerly, executive director of the UMBC Research Park Corporation, which operates the bwtech@UMBC Research and Technology Park, noted that the program is a perfect fit for a region with a strong information technology workforce and a growing array of businesses and governmental agencies working on cybersecurity.
“UMBC and Northrop Grumman share a culture of innovation,” she said. “This program will build on UMBC’s strength in information technology and its success nurturing new companies. Businesses started through this partnership will come from across the country, expanding the local business base and spurring economic growth in the region.”
Applicants with the best ideas for technologies that will protect the country from cyber threats will be selected in a nation-wide search to join the Cync Program. Participating companies will be provided with office space, business support services and academic resources, including access to faculty and student employees.
UMBC ranks fourth among U.S. research universities in the production of IT degrees and certificates, and it is the largest producer of such graduates among research universities in Maryland, Washington, D.C., and Virginia. The campus offers a master’s degree and a graduate certificate in cybersecurity, and it is rated a Center of Excellence in information assurance education and research. Thousands of UMBC graduates work in the intelligence community for key federal agencies and private partners.
bwtech@UMBC is a 71-acre research and technology community that is home to nearly 60 technology and life science companies in the Research Park and Incubator and Accelerator programs.
Northrop Grumman is a global security industry leader in all aspects of computer network operations and cybersecurity, offering customers innovative solutions to help secure the nation’s cyber future. Northrop Grumman’s 120,000 employees provide innovative systems, products, and solutions in aerospace, electronics, information systems, shipbuilding and technical services to government and commercial customers worldwide.