The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) and Port San Antonio announced a Memorandum of Understanding that will accelerate the organizations’ ongoing efforts to expand the region’s cybersecurity and data analytics research and development ecosystem and increase workforce education and training.

The partnership formalizes the relationship of UTSA as the port’s principal academic partner and emphasizes the shared goal of strengthening their IT and cybersecurity expertise, which is increasingly required by the defense community and mature industry sectors globally.

Among priority R&D areas outlined in the MOU are critical infrastructure protection and security, automation and robotics, space sciences and hypersonics, artificial intelligence, data science and visualization, cloud computing, cybersecure manufacturing and supply-chain security.

“In our increasingly connected world, there are countless exciting opportunities to connect information security and data science expertise to global industries,” said Port San Antonio President and CEO Jim Perschbach. “Whether it is to safeguard networks and data that are fundamental to our defense and private sectors or to develop and launch new digital technologies that make industries more productive and safer while developing the skills of a new generation of tech talent, San Antonio’s standing as a leading provider of these solutions and educational paths will be further strengthened by the commitment of UTSA and the port to work in an increasingly focused and cohesive manner.”

UTSA is a leading public research institution that specializes in cybersecurity, biomedicine, advanced materials and social-economic transformation. For more than 20 years the university has been growing its capacities and expanding its expertise in cyber, cloud, computing and analytics. 

The university’s researchers have expertise in the privacy and security of Internet of Things devices, data analytics, artificial intelligence, quantum computing and adaptive human-computer interaction in augmented reality, virtual reality and mixed reality domains. This work is coordinated in 15 research centers and institutes, including the National Security Collaboration Center, the Cybersecurity Manufacturing Innovation Institute, the Center for Advanced Measurements in Extreme Environments and the Center for Infrastructure Assurance and Security.

Within the next three years the two organizations’ combined capabilities and expertise will be leveraged to build new research programs, educate and train undergraduate and graduate students and researchers, and advance new science and cutting-edge technologies to secure U.S. critical infrastructure. The partnership between UTSA and Port San Antonio will also allow highly competitive research and education teams to pursue larger and more complex funding requests and increase opportunities for collaboration and multidisciplinary research.