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Developing a Cybersecurity Cluster in SoCAL


In an effort to help shape the San Diego's future, one of the many services the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) provides is analysis and reporting on industrial clusters in the San Diego Region.  The last Industrial Clusters in the San Diego Region report was released for 1990 - 1996.  In October 2010, I met with SANDAG to determine why Cybersecurity was not listed on this report. 

The simple answer: SANDAG didn't look at Cybersecurity in its previous analysis.  This left all of us wondering if now is the time to consider how or if cybersecurity fits as a measurable industrial cluster.  To determine this requires in part SANDAG's understanding cluster analysis and understanding how clusters form.  Its not the intent of this article to get into the deeper understanding on how clusters form. For that, there are excellent references for those interested.  One important one is 'The Cluster Initiative Greenbook' by Orjan Solvell, Goran Lindqvist and Christian Ketels.

For those leaders in the community who gathered forming the SANDAG Cluster Technical Advisory Group, the purpose was more focused.  Discuss outstanding issues/questions regarding the revised SANDAG traded industry clusters, provide feedback and obtain general agreement on industry cluster definitions.   Only one of many clusters could perhaps be defined as a cybersecurity cluster.  It was not.

During this same period, other initiatives where already underway to start building a cybersecurity cluster in Southern California (SoCAL).  Or, at least determine if it 1) either made sense to build one or 2) could one be built. This would be done regardless of what the next SANDAG report showed.   And, one of the most important drivers that would determine if this would happen was ($$$ Money $$$).

Enter the San Diego Advanced Defense Technologies (SDADT) Cluster, hosted by the SDSU College of Business Administration, Lavin Entrepreneurship Center, is funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration to help San Diego-area small businesses succeed and grow in the Defense and Homeland Security marketplaces. SDADT was formed to help San Diego succeed and grow in the Defense and Homeland Security marketplace. In partnership with the ESET Foundation and as part of Securing our eCity, SDADT announced plans to launch a Cybersecurity business cluster effort in San Diego on April 19, 2012.

So what happens next, if your interested get involved.  There are 56 Federally funded cluster initiatives supported by the Small Business Administration (SBA) with SDADT wining one of the first awards.  Contact Simple Secure IT to learn more and how you can get involved.