RD243 - Commonwealth Cyber Initiative Fiscal Year 2020 Annual Report – October 1, 2020

Executive Summary:

The Commonwealth Cyber Initiative (CCI) creates a unique opportunity to establish Virginia as a global center of excellence at the intersection of security, autonomous systems, and data. With a mission of research, innovation, and workforce development, this initiative has the bold ambition to serve as a catalyst for the Commonwealth’s long-term leadership in this sector.

The area of focus for CCI could not be more timely. We are on the verge of a new technology revolution, similar to what we experienced decades ago with the advent of the Internet. This time, the revolution in services and applications is being led by the ubiquity of cyber physical systems powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI). These range from drones to robotic arms, from sensors and actuators to autonomous vehicles. Trustworthiness and security are prerequisites for their adoption by major industries such as manufacturing, transportation, and energy. This technology revolution has the potential to fundamentally change how entire sectors of the economy operate, and CCI is well positioned to lead in research and innovation at the confluence of security, autonomy, and data.

I joined as the inaugural Executive Director of CCI in mid-March 2020, and the Node Directors and the interim leadership of the CCI Hub had already been hard at work laying the foundations of our research, innovation, and workforce development programs. I am extremely proud of what the network has already accomplished in such a short time and despite the challenges of the COVID-19 crisis. This report describes these accomplishments, as well as our strategy and plans for the near future.

I hope the report conveys the excitement that the entire team feels in creating this unique ecosystem of university and industry collaboration for Virginia. We deeply appreciate the investment that the Commonwealth is making in CCI and are confident in our ability to deliver lasting impact.

Luiz DaSilva, Ph.D.; Fellow, IEEE
Executive Director, Commonwealth Cyber Initiative
Bradley Professor of Cybersecurity, Virginia Tech