via SC Magazine
If one were to map where the nation’s brightest science, technology, engineering and mathematics minds are concentrated, the epicenter might fall somewhere along an eastern stretch of central Florida known as the Space Coast.
The region is best known for the Kennedy Space Center, the launching site of every human US space flight since 1968. June 28, however, will mark the space shuttle program’s final mission, when Discovery propels into orbit.
Any future voyages of that nature will be conducted by private firms, with NASA choosing to focus on deep-space exploration, with the eventual goal of landing on Mars. The retirement of the shuttle means the end, for now, of the dramatic liftoffs and landings, tragedies and triumphs that have come to define America’s fascination with outer space.
But it also signifies the end of something more tangible — the technology here on Earth that has emerged because of NASA’s scientific research. The agency is credited with scores of innovations, ranging from smoke detectors and power tools to crop dusters and chips for breast biopsies. Some of the most intellectually gifted Americans built those products — and now about 8000 of them are expected to be out of a job.
But the aerospace industry’s loss may be the cybersecurity market’s gain, according to Deborah Kobza, president and CEO of the recently launched nonprofit Global Institute for Cybersecurity and Research (GICSR), founded last August.
The goal of the nonprofit, located just across the street from the Kennedy Space Center, in a business center known as Exploration Park, is to advance cybersecurity education, innovation and research by providing the coordination of key players, and generating recommendations and actionable policy solutions.