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Merit Selects Two Sites for Cyber Range Hubs in Southeast Michigan

Merit Network is pleased to announce that Pinckney Community High School and Wayne State University have been selected to establish two new Cyber Range Hubs in Southeast Michigan. A Cyber Range Hub is a facility that will contain a computing and networking infrastructure to provide certification courses, cybersecurity training exercises and product hardening/testing through a direct connection to the Michigan Cyber Range.

“We are honored to be selected as one of the Michigan Cyber Range Hubs through the Advance Michigan Defense Collaborative,” said Rick Todd, superintendent of Pinckney Community Schools. “This is a great opportunity not only for our students, but for the surrounding communities and businesses. The Cyber Range will expand our current technology and cybersecurity education program by providing realistic, hands-on cybersecurity training.”
Pinckney Community Schools and Wayne State University logos
Merit Network was a sub-recipient of an Advance Michigan Defense Collaborative (AMDC) grant to establish the Cyber Range Hubs and recently conducted a request for proposals process to select two locations within a 13 county region of Southeast Michigan. The publicly-accessible hubs will help meet the growing demand for cybersecurity training, making each hub a community magnet for IT security and economic development in their region.

“Wayne State is proud to strengthen our relationship with Merit Network by providing a Cyber Range Hub at our Advanced Technology Education Center in Macomb,” said Ahmad Ezzeddine, associate vice president for educational outreach and international programs at WSU. “This hub will allow us to expand our offerings in cybersecurity to students, as well as professional development training to clients and secure software testing for our corporate partners. We look forward to developing graduate, undergraduate and non-degree programs focused on cybersecurity, and preparing our students to be leaders in this growing industry.”

The new hubs will benefit from the relationships that the Michigan Cyber Range has established with cybersecurity curriculum providers, industry partners and government agencies. Each hub will provide certification courses in over 20 cybersecurity disciplines, including penetration testing, computer forensics, network security and much more.

“The demand for skilled IT security professionals is extremely high, and Merit is very happy to be working with our innovative education partners in southeast Michigan to continue to develop programs to develop our regional workforce,” said Joe Sawasky, president and CEO of Merit Network. “Through focused collaboration, we’re able to provide complete end-to-end programs in the Merit Cyber Range to teach, test and train the next generation of technology security professionals.”

The Cyber Range Hubs at Pinckney Community High School and Wayne State University are expected to be operational by this fall. The Michigan Cyber Range currently operates eight additional hubs throughout the state of Michigan.

Funding for the Cyber Range Hubs ADMC grant was received from the Department of Defense Office of Economic Adjustment. The grant is made possible via match funding from the MEDC Defense Center and the focus on cybersecurity as part of the MEDC Cyber Program. MEDC is proud to collaborate with Macomb County, the Macomb/St. Clair Workforce Development Board and the Workforce Intelligence Network for Southeast Michigan to continue to deliver the Michigan Cyber Range resource powered by the Merit Network to develop and attract Michigan talent and businesses growing in the connected and autonomous space.

About Michigan Cyber Range

The Michigan Cyber Range prepares cybersecurity professionals to detect, prevent and mitigate cyber-attacks in a real-world setting. Like a test track or a firing range, the Michigan Cyber Range enables individuals and organizations to conduct “live fire” exercises: simulations that test the detection and reaction skills of participants in a variety of situations. The Michigan Cyber Range also offers certification courses for a number of cybersecurity disciplines, with instruction available on-site and live online. A full training schedule may be found at the Merit Michigan Cyber Range web site.

The Michigan Cyber Range is hosted and facilitated by Merit Network in partnership with the State of Michigan and with the sponsorship of DTE Energy.

About Merit Network

Merit Network, Inc. is a nonprofit corporation owned and governed by Michigan’s public universities. Merit owns and operates America’s longest-running regional research and education network. In 1966, Michigan’s public universities created Merit as a shared resource to help meet their common need for networking assistance. Since its formation, Merit Network has remained on the forefront of research and education networking expertise and services. Merit provides high-performance networking and IT solutions to Michigan’s public universities, colleges, K-12 organizations, libraries, state government, healthcare, and other non-profit organizations.

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About the Advance Michigan Defense Collaborative

The Advance Michigan Defense Collaborative (AMDC) is a group of organizations that provides immediate and sustained assistance to firms and workers in a 13-county region in Southeast Michigan affected by reduced Department of Defense procurement. The group coordinates assistance to organizations that promote research, industrial development, and talent development relevant to the defense industry. Efforts support resiliency and capacity in autonomous transportation and connected mobility, lightweight materials manufacturing sector, and information technology, with a focus on increasing security of automated transportation systems and products. The core coalition of partners includes the Macomb/St. Clair Workforce Development Board, Workforce Intelligence Network for Southeast Michigan, Michigan Defense Center-an operation of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, Merit Network, and Macomb County Office of Economic Development and Planning.