by Staff Writers
Baltimore MD (SPX) Aug 03, 2012
Northrop Grumman and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) Research Park Corporation recently marked the one-year anniversary of the Cync program, an incubator dedicated to cultivating companies that develop innovative solutions to counter the global cyber threat. Cync is part of the Cyber Incubator program on the campus.
After more than a year in operation, the Cync program has increased the number of participating technology startups to five companies: AccelerEyes, Five Directions, KoolSpan, Oculis Labs and Rogue Networks.
Cync companies have earned Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Fast Track awards and signed agreements with information technology providers. The list of additional startups interested in participating in the program continues to grow, with more than 100 this year from across the nation.
"Given the dynamic nature of the cyber threat and the need for speed and agility in developing solutions, the Cync program has proven to be a great way to cultivate innovative technologies quickly to meet tomorrow's threat," said Mike Papay, vice president, cyber initiatives, Northrop Grumman Information Systems.
"Because these technologies are in various stages of development, our partnership allows us to work with the companies early to help shape the solutions to best meet our customers' needs."
"This university-industry partnership is helping companies develop solutions to guard against current and future cyber threats, and it's bringing some of the best minds in cybersecurity to our campus," said Freeman Hrabowski, president of UMBC.
"The companies provide educational and internship opportunities for our students while also contributing to the strength of Maryland's economy."
The Cync program's aim is to identify, develop and commercialize solutions that meet the needs of the departments of Defense, Homeland Security and Justice, as well as the intelligence community.
Companies focus their work on advancements in situational awareness/visualization, sensors, processing, workflow management, and modeling and simulation. Northrop Grumman serves as a strategic partner, leveraging its resources and applying them in a focused way to expedite commercialization of these new ideas.
"Many of these companies came in with no revenue and no customers. I'm proud to say that every company now has a customer and revenue and, in some cases, is hiring and expanding," said Chris Valentino, director, contract research and development, Cyber Intelligence division, Northrop Grumman Information Systems.
"Given this successful partnership, we plan to extend the program globally soon to further cultivate companies internationally and maximize our technology investment."
The program builds on bwtech's successful business-incubation framework by offering an 18-month scholarship for high-potential, early-stage companies with the most promising cybersecurity ideas.
Participants in the program draw on UMBC's research expertise and talented students as well as bwtech's experienced entrepreneurs and access to capital.
Citing specific progress, RogueNetworks received the first DARPA Cyber Fast Track award in 2011, followed by Five Directions, which received a Fast Track award in 2012.
The DARPA Fast Track Awards program is aimed at developing multiple cyber projects that are focused on low cost and short timelines with the expectation of results demonstrated in less than 12 months.
Several Cync companies negotiated agreements with other firms including Oculis Labs, Inc., which recently signed a strategic licensing agreement with NJVC to resell its data privacy software solutions to protect mobile and desktop computers from visual eavesdroppers.
KoolSpan announced in March that a major European telecommunications operator will commercialize its Trust Suite of products including TrustCall. Five Directions has expanded its presence in the lab and AccelerEyes continues to build on existing business. Northrop Grumman is also leveraging several of the Cync company solutions in its own programs and proposals.
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Chantilly, VA (SPX) Aug 01, 2012
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