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#NICEK12: San Antonio Aims to Become Cyber City, USA

The 2018 NICE K12 Cybersecurity Education Conference kicked off this morning in San Antonio, Texas, with opening remarks from Ron Niremberg, mayor of San Antonio. 

The National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) is part of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and aims to deliver quality professional development focused on strategies that will inspire awareness about cybersecurity preparedness for young people while also inspiring them to explore the myriad careers within the industry. 

“I can’t think of a more important educational initiative,” said Niremberg. “The city’s cyber roots go almost as far back as our military history. Today San Antonio is second only to Washington, D.C., in terms of cybersecurity assets.”

Over the past few years, the US Cyber Command has brought more than 1,000 new jobs to San Antonio, resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars of economic impact. In addition to the robust cybersecurity industry, the city boasts over a dozen colleges and universities with cybersecurity programs.

Advancements continue to be made. According to the mayor, in the last two months, San Antonio has had two very exciting announcements related to work in cyber. First, the University of Texas–San Antonio (UTSA) announced a significant investment in its AI and data science national security collaboration center. With a $33 million investment, UTSA will be expanding its downtown campus by developing a National Security Collaboration Center (NSCC) and a School of Data Science.

Second, Texas A&M was invited to join Facebook’s cybersecurity university program. Together, Facebook and Texas A&M–San Antonio have opened a $63 million science and technology building. 

The collective investments are an indication that “San Antonio leadership gets it. Cybersecurity is an extraordinary priority for us,” Niremberg said. 

“We know our community needs to continue to fund innovation and continue to invest in our future workforce, as we continue to build what we call Cyber City, USA. The work you are doing is critical for all.” 

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