USM, MITRE Partner to Operate New Cybersecurity R&D Center for the National Institute of Standards and Technology



MCLEAN, Va. and ADELPHI, Md., October 3, 2014The U.S. Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has selected The MITRE Corporation to operate the first federally funded research and development center (FFRDC) solely dedicated to enhancing cybersecurity and protecting national information systems. MITRE will partner with the University System of Maryland (USM) to support the center.

The new FFRDC will support the National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence (NCCoE), which NIST, the state of Maryland, and Montgomery County, Md., established in 2012 to help businesses secure their data and digital infrastructure by bringing together information security experts from industry, government and academia. MITRE will further the NCCoE’s goal to foster public-private collaborations to identify and solve today’s most pressing cybersecurity challenges. Working with the University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP) and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), two leading research institutions within the USM, MITRE will carry out the goals of the new FFRDC in research, development, engineering and technical support as well as operations and facilities planning.

“We’re honored that NIST has chosen us to operate this new and timely cybersecurity-focused FFRDC,” said Alfred Grasso, MITRE's president and chief executive officer. “Our work helping government and industry protect their critical assets and our ongoing collaboration with the cybersecurity community-particularly in advancing standards and facilitating threat-sharing-nicely complements NCCoE's mission. Working with our partners in the USM, we look forward to undertaking this work of significant national importance.”

“We are thrilled to partner with MITRE to support the nation’s first cybersecurity FFRDC,” said USM Chancellor William E. “Brit” Kirwan. “With the combined knowledge base, research and expertise in cybersecurity of the University of Maryland, College Park, UMBC and MITRE, we look forward to meeting challenges the world faces in cyber security and information assurance. This alliance will present phenomenal opportunities for our faculty, staff and students to engage and work with our partners at MITRE, the incredible personnel at NIST and our nation’s business community.”

Cybersecurity is a core capability at MITRE, honed over more than four decades of working closely with federal agencies to secure the country’s critical infrastructure, both information-based and physical. As part of its public interest mission, MITRE brings together government, commercial vendors and academic institutions to advance new concepts, standards and solutions in cybersecurity awareness, resiliency and threat-based defense.


“Cybersecurity is a common denominator for mission success for all of the sponsors we support, defense and civilian,” said Gary Gagnon, MITRE senior vice president and chief security officer. “We’re excited to apply our collective experience to help the NCCoE advance the state of cybersecurity practice across all sectors—industry, infrastructure owners and operators, commercial solution providers, government and academia.”


The FFRDC will be housed in the NCCoE’s state-of-the-art cybersecurity research lab in Rockville, Md. MITRE anticipates that 40 information security professionals will staff the FFRDC.

“The NCCoE is the best of government working with world-class IT companies to make our country safer and our economy more secure,” said U.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski, Chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, which funds NIST. "The NCCoE is a hub for innovation and development. I congratulate the University System of Maryland for partnering with MITRE to collaborate in support of the FFRDC. This new center unites the knowledge of the government with the know-how of the private sector to develop cyber technology tools needed to protect dot-com entities and make our cyber infrastructure more resilient.”

About The MITRE Corporation

The MITRE Corporation is a not-for-profit organization that operates research and development centers sponsored by the federal government. Our centers support our sponsors with scientific research and analysis, development and acquisition, and systems engineering and integration. We also have an independent research program that explores new and expanded uses of technologies to meet our sponsors’ needs. Our principal locations are in Bedford, Mass., and McLean, Va. To learn more, visit

About the University System of Maryland

The University System of Maryland, the state’s public higher education system, comprises 12 institutions, two regional higher education centers, and a system office. The USM engages in research and scholarship that expand the boundaries of current knowledge, and provides knowledge-based programs and services that are responsive to the needs of the citizens of the state and nation.


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