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DoIT and NCSA Team for Smart State Initiative

February 6, 2017

The National Center for Supercomputing Applications' (NCSA) world-renowned cybersecurity and large-scale data capabilities are being called upon to advance Illinois as the nation's premier "Smart State." On Thursday the state of Illinois and University of Illinois System announced a new partnership that will bring together next-generation technology and highly-skilled expertise to improve quality of life, grow the state's economy and retain and attract residents. The first phase of the initiative will partner the Illinois Department of Innovation & Technology (DoIT) and NCSA to tackle Big Data and cybersecurity issues such as how to better secure transportations systems and citizen's data.

"Illinois is nationally recognized as the first U.S. state to have a vision and roadmap for becoming a smarter state," said Hardik Bhatt, Secretary Designate and state CIO of the Department of Innovation & Technology (DoIT). "The goal is to use technology, Internet of Things, analytics, and cybersecurity to improve operational efficiency and find new and more cost-effective ways to serve our customers."

Illinois launched Smart State initiatives, under the leadership of Governor Bruce Rauner, with the release of a white paper titled, "Introducing the Smart State: Illinois Leads the Way" in early 2016. This was followed by two smart state workshops in April and December that connected leaders from both the public and private sector to explore how becoming a smart state will improve government efficiency and access to services, and create a climate that promotes the growth of business and industry.

DoIT's Chief Information Security Officer Kirk Lonbom commented, "A partnership between DoIT and NCSA will bring great benefits to Illinois businesses and citizens in the area of cybersecurity. The threat posed by cyber-attackers grows exponentially by the day and collaborations such as these accelerate the pace of cybersecurity progress."

"At NCSA, University of Illinois faculty, staff, students, and collaborators from around the globe use advanced digital resources to address research grand challenges for the benefit of science, industry, and society," said Bill Gropp, acting director of NCSA. "We are excited about leveraging these resources to modernize infrastructure in order to better serve the citizens of Illinois and uplift the state’s economy."

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