Former Governor Nathan Deal cut the ribbon on the second building of the Georgia Cyber Center on Thursday, January 10, 2019. The $100 million Cyber Center, located in Augusta, Georgia, now totals 332,000 square feet and is the single largest investment in a cybersecurity facility by a state government to date. The center aims to strengthen the state of Georgia’s position as a national leader in cybersecurity through collaborative innovation, training and research.
“I think there have been a lot of things we have been able to do that have planted very deep roots in the red clay of Georgia,” Governor Deal said. “They will not be easily disrupted, nor will the people of this state allow them to be destroyed. This is one of those.”
The Shaffer MacCartney Building is named for Michael Shaffer and Teresa MacCartney, who both played central roles in establishing the Georgia Cyber Center. Shaffer is executive vice president of strategic partnerships and economic development for Augusta University, and MacCartney is the state chief financial officer and director of the Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget.
Speaking about the Cyber Center’s potential to shape the future of cybersecurity, Mr. Shaffer noted, “The campus will serve as the proving ground for businesses and whole industries that haven’t even been imagined yet.”
Ms. MacCartney added, “The Cyber Center is a symbol of the Governor’s leadership, and a reminder of what people with great vision and principle can do when given the opportunity.”
The Shaffer MacCartney Building will add in-demand Class A partner space for companies looking to expand in or relocate to Georgia, according to Eric Toler, executive director of the Georgia Cyber Center. “The Cyber Center’s combination of private sector talent along with military, government and academia truly makes the center a hub for collaborative cybersecurity innovation.”
The Georgia Technology Authority (GTA) oversaw construction and partner coordination for the center. Design and construction partners include Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) as the construction project management team, M. Arthur Gensler Jr. and Associates as the architect, New South Construction as the general contractor, and Cranston Engineering Group as the civil engineer.
Prior to the ribbon-cutting ceremony, there was a Capture the Flag Competition held in the Center’s Hull McKnight Building, hosted by Parsons and featuring coding, cryptography and other cyber challenges. The day also included a Cyber Lair Product Pitch event where cybersecurity entrepreneurs made brief business presentations to a group of potential investors.
Located on the Nathan Deal Campus for Innovation, the Georgia Cyber Center is a unique public-private collaboration that includes Augusta University, Augusta Technical College, the University System of Georgia’s (USG) research institutions, the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG), the City of Augusta, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI), the Georgia Department of Defense and other state, federal and private-sector partners. These groups will not only work together to strengthen cyber defenses and combat the growing number and complexity of cyberattacks, but also to meet the increasing need for cybersecurity talent in the state’s and the nation’s workforce.