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Illinois University Gets DHS Critical Infrastructure Resilience Center of Excellence

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has been selected to house the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) new Critical Infrastructure Resilience (CIRC) Center of Excellence (COE), DHS’s Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) announced Monday.

Supported by a consortium of US academic and industry institutions, S&T will provide CIRC with a $3.4 million grant for its first operating year, DHS said.

“We are excited that the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign will join our family of [excellence] centers to solve complex, interdisciplinary challenges that affect our ability to make the nation’s infrastructures more resilient,” said Matthew Clark, Ph.D., director of S&T’s Office of University Programs (OUP) which manages the COE system.

S&T selected the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign through an open call for proposals and a rigorous competitive process, DHS said, noting that, “This is the first COE award for the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The new award will provide the homeland security community a better understanding of the complex issue of managing catastrophic risks to critical infrastructure.”

“CIRC will collaborate with DHS S&T, DHS operational components, state and local government agencies, private sector partners, first responder agencies and other COEs to help the United States address challenges to strengthen the resiliency of the nation’s critical infrastructures,” the DHS announcement said.

“Importantly,” DHS said, “this COE’s research will focus on challenges for the businesses and public entities that own and operate critical assets andsystems. CIRC will also contribute towards the education of both university students and professionals working within the realm of critical infrastructure resilience.”

The DHS COEs were established by the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to be a “coordinated, university-based system to enhance the Nation’s homeland security.”

S&T’s COEs are a well-integrated network of researchers focused on specific, high-priority DHS challenges. The COEs work directly with DHS operational agencies to solve complex and difficult security problems.

For more information about OUP and the COEs, visit www.dhs.gov/st-oup.

Homeland Security Todayhttp://www.hstoday.us
The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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