Virginia Tech is set to launch a National Security Institute, and they have big plans for their research. The establishment of the institute shows the increasing relevance of Virginia in the technology security sector.


“Virginia Tech has announced the formation of the Virginia Tech National Security Institute, aspiring to become the nation's preeminent academic organization at the nexus of interdisciplinary research, technology, policy, and talent development to advance national security.” (Virginia Tech).


The Institute will have a multitude of purposes and goals, one of which is to research national cyber-security in a time of increasing cyber-attacks.


“Drawing on the experience of its faculty members and experts, the institute will produce research and impact policy related to legal and practical challenges facing national intelligence, defense, law enforcement, homeland security, and cybersecurity communities that are relevant to current questions of national security law and policy and that will aid senior policymakers, key departments, and agencies.” (Virginia Tech).


The Institute is not the only research center at the University. “The institute is the third thematic research institute at Virginia Tech. It joins Virginia Tech’s transportation institute and the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC.” (Virginia Business).


According to Virginia Business, Virginia Tech received a multitude of its funding from the Department of Defense (DOD).


“The DOD is Virginia Tech’s largest source of federal funding, giving approximately $50 million in fiscal 2020. In January, the DOD awarded Virginia Tech a $1.5 million grant to prepare students for careers in cybersecurity through the Hume Center.” (Virginia Business).


A member of the DOD led the effort to establish the institute at the university, striving to establish the university as a frontrunning research center.


“Stoney Trent, previously the chief of missions for the Department of Defense’s Joint Artificial Intelligence Center and the principal adviser for the Office for Research and Innovation at Virginia Tech, led the effort to start the institute. A group of deans, institute directors and vice presidents reviewed the proposal, and the charter was approved in the spring.” (Virginia Business).


The establishment of the institute is wonderful news for the future of cyber-security research in Virginia, with innovative programs and instructing methods.


“With a focus on cultivating leadership skills and security competencies, the U.S. Cyber Command Cyber Leadership Development Program at Virginia Tech leverages the strengths of our engineering programs in building a pipeline for technical experts and leaders in national security,” said Julia M. Ross, the Paul and Dorothea Torgersen Dean of Engineering. “This program, which is dedicated to student education and research in critical security areas, connects our students to faculty expertise and professional preparation within real-world contexts.” (Roanoke Star).


According to U.S. Sen. Mark Warner, this is not just good news for technology security in Virginia, but it is good news for the security of the country as a whole.


“Given the university’s nearly $50 million Department of Defense research portfolio, and its strategic locations in Northern Virginia near key national intelligence agencies and the Pentagon, this purposeful focusing of Virginia Tech’s efforts in national security is welcome news. Virginia Tech’s new National Security Institute will help our nation develop new security-related technological advancements while helping train the future generations of intelligence leaders.” (Virginia Tech).


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VTx, Virginia Tech. September 28, 2021. “Virginia Tech Launches National Security Institute”. 

Sidersky, Robyn. Virginia Business. September 28, 2021. “Va. Tech Launches National Security Institute.” 

The Roanoke Star. September 28, 2021. “Virginia Tech Launches National Security Institute”.