CTRAC and CyberWorx need industry’s help


The Center for Technology, Research and Commercialization has a new opportunity for local professionals wanting to help solve real problems in the Air Force.

In partnership with the Air Force’s CyberWorx program, CTRAC is looking for 8-10 industry leaders to participate in a weeklong design sprint February 13-17 at Catalyst Campus to help identify mission-related cyber dependencies for Air Force cyber squadrons.

Through design thinking, industry, military and academic partners will collaborate to develop a robust Functional Mission Analysis process for cyber squadrons, formerly known as communication squadrons, conceptualizing effective tactics, tools, and methods to work against cyber vulnerabilities.

About 30 personnel from across the Air Force will be involved; CTRAC needs industry professionals with backgrounds in logistics and distribution, multi-unit enterprises, energy, financial services, transportation, data analytics, and intelligence.

“We’re looking for people to commit by the end of January but are accepting applications for the program on a rolling basis,” said Erin Miller, managing director of CTRAC. “What we’re looking to do is have industry participants who want to take their knowledge from multinational experience or an operations background and begin to influence how the Air Force manages cyber squadrons and risk.”

This is CRTAC and CyberWorx’s second design sprint. After the process, CyberWorx director Col. Jeff Collins will brief leaders at The Pentagon, hopefully with industry partners also involved in the discussion, Miller said.

“We’ve received positive feedback from the last sprint but it’s a big project to take on, overhauling training for the cyber career field,” she said. “We can expect change to happen incrementally.”

Taylor Rodriguez, founder of digital marketing company Peak Social Insights, said her experience in the last design sprint ignited a passion for cyber she didn’t realize she had.

“Coming from a digital marketing and international business background, I had little involvement in the cybersecurity industry,” she said. “But my participation in the sprint allowed me to see the possibilities for someone with my expertise in this industry.”

Now Peak Social Insights is collaborating on a few projects in cybersecurity and has changed its business model after Rodriguez engaged in design thinking during the sprint.

“The experience allowed me to realize the way creative businesses, such as digital marketing and virtual reality, can impact and improve the cybersecurity industry and military,” she said. “It is a wonderful experience that allows for a variety of industries and sectors to come together to solve a problem that is important throughout the country.”

Those interested in participating in the sprint can fill out a contact form at http://c-trac.org.