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Cybersecurity business cluster initiative launched in San Diego

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Securing Our eCity, the ESET Foundation’s signature program, has announced plans to launch a cybersecurity cluster effort in San Diego, in partnership with the San Diego Advanced Defense Technology cluster.

"San Diego is emerging as a ‘cyber harbor’ and cybersecurity hot spot similar to the way Silicon Valley became the hub for early computer development in years past," said Jessie J. Knight Jr., chairman of ESET Foundation Inc., and chairman and CEO of San Diego Gas & Electric. "With portions of that industry now commoditized, the leading edge of innovation has shifted to protecting software and data running on various platforms. Our region has become the international focal point for cross-industry cybersecurity expertise and development, with hundreds of providers already in place."

"Our strength is in our unique ability for collaboration and commonality that spurs growth and prosperity. We believe that cybersecurity is the key element that draws all businesses together and is our shared responsibility," said Louis Kelly, co-chair of Securing Our eCity Cluster Workgroup and director of the SDADT cluster. He also serves as chair of the San Diego State University Center for Commercialization of Advanced Technology.

One of the first initiatives to be undertaken by SOeC and SDADT will be to compile an extensive database of cybersecurity companies and related university programs in the San Diego region. This will serve as a master directory of organizations that are selling cybersecurity products, services, or performing research related to all areas of national concern for information security. A dynamic cross section of both vertical and horizontal industries — private and public — will include organizations like defense, health care, telecommunications, energy, banking and finance, transportation and other commercial sectors.

"This effort falls right into line with Connect’s convergence cluster initiative to foster regional focus on the importance of cybersecurity,” said Duane Roth, CEO of Connect, a globally recognized organization that fosters entrepreneurship in the San Diego region by promoting the formation of new technology and life sciences companies.

"The formation of a regional cybersecurity cluster is not only vital to our region's business economy, but also to our national security and the safety of our citizens,” he said.

"San Diego has rapidly become one of the leading cybersecurity centers in the world," said Mark Cafferty, president and CEO of the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation. "We have witnessed a convergence of world-class capabilities from our existing military, biometrics and software analytics communities that will allow San Diego to compete for jobs and investment in this new environment. The launch of the cybersecurity business cluster is a testament to our region’s unique local assets and competitive advantages in this area."

There are numerous benefits available to organizations that identify themselves and take part in the SOeC/SDADT Cybersecurity Cluster initiative. These benefits include:

* Being included in future joint marketing efforts undertaken by SOeC and its partners on behalf of San Diego cybersecurity cluster member organizations.

* Possible participation in future grant proposals that SOeC will pursue with the Department of Homeland Security. As the signature program of the recently incorporated ESET Foundation, SOeC now operates along with the Foundation as a nonprofit (501c3), facilitating its eligibility for DHS grants.

* Eligibility for inclusion as a client in the SDADT cluster. The focus of the SDADT is to assist small businesses in the transition of their technologies into defense applications. The SDADT cluster provides a customized package of business support that includes: market research, business mentoring, proposal preparation, demonstrations to customers and assistance in locating funding sources. This support will include outreach to local defense organizations, such as SPAWAR and SSC Pacific, for possible funding opportunities, demonstrations and introductions.

Companies or universities engaged in cybersecurity work are urged to register at the following link: www.ccatsandiego.org/ccat_intranet/cybersecurityDb/CyberSecuritySignUpForm.html

For additional information about Securing Our eCity, its upcoming events and additional ways to get involved, please visit securingourecity.org. For the latest cyber threat and education information, follow Securing Our eCity on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook.

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