NIST Sponsor Security R&D Center

Monday, May 6, 2013 @ 11:05 AM gHale


To help the National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence (NCCoE) address industry’s needs most efficiently, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) will sponsor its first Federally Funded Research and Development Center (FFRDC).

The FFRDC mechanism will allow a nonprofit organization to support the NCCoE, established in partnership with the state of Maryland and Montgomery County in February 2012. There will now be a solicitation for proposals to manage the FFRDC in the fall of 2013. This will be the first FFRDC solely dedicated to enhancing the security of the nation’s information systems.

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The NCCoE is a public-private collaboration that helps businesses secure their data and digital infrastructure by bringing together experts from industry, government and academia to find practical solutions for today’s cyber security needs.

FFRDCs are independent nonprofit organizations that operate in the public interest and provide a highly efficient way to leverage and rapidly assemble physical resources and scientific and engineering talent, from the public and private sectors. By design, they have beyond normal access to government and supplier data, and as nonprofits, they have no bias toward any particular company, technology or product—key attributes, given the NCCoE’s collaborative nature.

“The FFRDC model is the most effective way the center can work with private companies to accelerate industry’s adoption of integrated tools and technologies to protect IT assets,” said Under Secretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology and NIST Director Patrick Gallagher.

FFRDCs can have a number of structures that reflect various balances of contractor/government control and ownership. In the case of the NCCoE, federal staff will provide overall management of the center, and the FFRDC will provide various types of support to its mission, including research, development, engineering and technical support to devise, test, and demonstrate integrated technical solutions to difficult cyber security challenges; program and project management of FFRDC collaborative efforts; and management and operations of the NCCoE facility.



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