University partners with Homeland Security to create infrastructure protection center

By Joseph Longo

The University partnered with the Department of Homeland Security to create a multi-million dollar national infrastructure protection planning institute.

On Tuesday, April 12,IL the University, Homeland Security and the Science and Technology Directorate will officially launch their Critical Infrastructure Resilience Institute (CIRI) Center of Excellence, which is the result of a five year grant from S&T that couldIL be up to $20 million.

“Led by the University of Illinois, CIRI is developing new technologies and business approaches to improve the security and resiliency of critical infrastructure,” said a statement released by the Department of Homeland Security.

The center will focus on discovering new ways of protecting the infrastructures every society uses to function normally. Examples of the infrastructure are the power grid and smart grid. This research could help protect the grids from different kinds of disruptions, from malicious attacks to accidental malfunctions.

To celebrate the center’s launch, the organizations will host the CIRI Kickoff Event Tuesday. It will take place in Room 3002 of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Building at 7:30 a.m.

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The kickoff will feature University President Timothy Killeen, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Department of Homeland SecurityName? IL , Office of Infrastructure Protection Bob Kolasky and S&T Director of the Office of University Programs Matt Clark.

The center will facilitate “private-public” partnerships with infrastructure companies in order to protect the systems. Private companies currently own and operate theIL most critical infrastructures in the country.

“With its grant, S&T is positioning CIRI to act as a national thought leader and hub for impactful research,” the statement said. 

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