Updated 06/12/2012 06:51 PM
Conference to focus on cyber challenges
The 2012 Cyber Challenges and Information Conference has drawn about 350 people to the SUNY IT to brainstorm solutions for hurdles ahead. Our Sarah Blazonis was there and has details.
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UTICA, N.Y. -- For nearly 60 years, Rome's Air Force Research Lab has led the way in high tech pursuits, from basic radar work to cyber projects. But officials say they've taken notice of progress being made by the more recent crop of high tech companies.
"Of course, this area of cyber is so critical to our nation right now, so we have a lot of the talent already here. It's a question of marketing it," said Joseph Camera, chair of the lab's Information, Operations and Exploitation Division.
That was part of the goal for the 2012 Cyber Challenges and Information conference that got underway at SUNY IT Tuesday.
"We bring together many industrial corporations, a very large contingent of academics, as well as government agencies. They've all come together to study these serious problems," said Eugene Blackburn with the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association, one of the groups that organized the event.
People got an idea of government contracts earned in the Mohawk Valley through company exhibits.
"These are companies at the leading edge of a lot of things that the world needs. The largest and most notable, of course, is cyber security," said Congressman Richard Hanna.
Organizers say at the end of the conference, ideas will be presented to Rome Lab as possible new areas of research.
The state's Cyber Alliance and CNY Defense Alliance helped organize the event. Both organizations work to make sure the necessity of high tech work done in the area is kept on the radar of leaders in Washington. Congressman Richard Hanna says a provision in the latest Transportation Bill could help bring drone testing to Griffiss Park in Rome.
"I inserted an opportunity to have six test sites across all of our borders and because we had that inserted, it'll help us compete," said Hanna.
Conference activities will continue through Thursday.