WVU Tech Wins Contract to Develop Soldier Cyber Readiness App
Beckley, West Virginia (WVDN) – In a joint effort with researchers and the U.S. military, the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities and Development Command (DEVCOM) and the Civil-Military Innovation Institute (CMI2) awarded the West Virginia University Institute of Technology (WVU Tech) a startup project under the Pathfinder program. As an initial use case, WVU Tech will perform knowledge and discovery tasks essential to building a searchable skills application focusing primarily on new skills, education, experience, and certifications needed to carry out cybersecurity missions assigned to the West Virginia National Guard (WVARNG).
Designed to help the military integrate innovative solutions to real problems into total force, the Pathfinder program run by DEVCOM aims to harness the creativity and technical skills of academic and government researchers. WVU Tech is the second West Virginia-based academic institution to receive a subcontract under the Pathfinder program.
“Our West Virginia National Guardsmen bravely serve our nation and keep our communities safe, and I’m thrilled about this new collaboration with WVU Tech,” said Sen. Joe Manchin. “The Pathfinder program will strengthen cybersecurity, advance data technology, and expand skills development and job training for our National Guard, and I look forward to seeing the positive impacts of the project for our entire state. As chair of the Senate Armed Forces Cybersecurity Subcommittee, I will continue to advocate for programs to protect the people of West Virginia from any threat our state and nation may face.
The demand for skilled soldiers with civilian cybersecurity training has become increasingly prevalent in recent years as adversaries have grown increasingly hostile in the “fifth realm” of cyberspace. Ultimately, the project will collect and analyze soldier data to help West Virginia National Guard leaders prepare soldiers with cybersecurity experiences to become skilled, experienced, and certified cybersecurity professionals on which WVARNG and the military can be counted on to protect our nation’s critical infrastructure.
WVU Tech will develop an application tool to enable WVARNG to effectively analyze the skills of its citizen-soldier workforce that brings business experience into battle against our nation’s adversaries. Broader applications across the military, including soldier assignment, career tracking, skill development and transitions, will also be explored.
“Project Pathfinder brings together academic and military initiatives, but shines a light on the innovation and productivity that lives in West Virginia,” said Scott Fleming, dean of WVU Tech’s College of Business, Humanities and Social Sciences. “This collaboration is a great opportunity for WVU Tech as it advances the future of soldiers and higher education in the state.”
The Pathfinder project is a collaboration between DEVCOM ARL and the Civil-Military Innovation Institute Inc., based in Morgantown, West Virginia. CMI2 supports these partnerships to rapidly innovate research-based, high-impact technologies, paving the way for commercialization and rapid product acquisition. by the US military.
“Our relationship with WVU Tech benefits not only the students, but also the soldiers and the state,” said Cody Clevenger, Pathfinder program manager. “By bringing together soldiers and universities, we can tackle real-world problems and solve them with a focus on the end user, from solution conceptualization to commercialization and specialized approach to quick pick-up.”