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Salve Regina wins grant to fund CAE cyber defense study

NEWPORT, R.I. – Salve Regina University today announced that CAE, a global leader in training, has awarded the University’s administration of justice department (ADJ) a $180,000 grant to fund a cybersecurity defense research project. The research study will assess the cyber risks to the military’s synthetic training environment, identify cyber effects to inject into the military’s training environment for more realistic training, and evaluate training needs for future scenarios where service members can train alongside real or synthetic cyber warriors.

Principal investigator of the study will be Jennifer McArdle, assistant professor in Salve’s ADJ department and a Fellow in Defense Studies at the Washington D.C.-based American Foreign Policy Council. Ten Salve students, both graduate and undergraduate, will work on the project as research assistants.

“The grant gives students an opportunity to develop their cybersecurity and policy research skills, while also providing them the unique opportunity to closely interface and network with members of the defense industrial base, defense policy community, and military,” McArdle said.

The need for this research is paramount as global defense strategies are evolving and potential adversaries are increasingly viewing cyber, electronic, and information operations as a way to asymmetrically challenge established technology-centric capabilities, McArdle explains. “Operators need to know how to effectively respond to threats in a networked environment. Synthetic training provides the only high-fidelity environment where the end user can get this experience prior to combat.”

“CAE is always looking for ways to make our simulation-based training systems more immersive and realistic,” said Gene Colabatistto, CAE’s Group President, Defense & Security. “We know cybersecurity and cyber threats will be increasingly critical in the military training environment, which is why funding projects such as this and other internal research and development programs will help us create the most integrated, interoperable and immersive virtual training environments.”

In addition to funding the research project, the CAE grant includes a $50,000 donation for Salve’s ADJ department to purchase software and hardware that will further differentiate its cyber and forensic capabilities. The investment will broaden the university’s pipeline to the future cyber security workforce with a particular eye for Salve students joining the defense industrial base.

CAE is a global leader in training for the defense, civil aviation, and healthcare markets. CAE continues to help define global training standards with its innovative virtual-to-live training solutions to make flying safer, maintain defense force readiness and enhance patient safety. The company has the broadest global presence in the industry, with over 8,500 employees, 160 sites and training locations in over 35 countries. Each year, CAE trains more than 120,000 civil and defense crewmembers and thousands of healthcare professionals worldwide.