AU launches partnership with Savannah River National Lab

The partnership will focus on three areas that are crucial to the security of not only our region or state but also the nation and world.
Published: May. 1, 2023 at 11:09 AM EDT|Updated: May. 1, 2023 at 4:07 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - The Georgia Cyber Center is continuing to grow and expand through community partnership. The newest deal between Augusta University and the Savannah River National Laboratory is to ensure that there’s a steady workforce in the local cybersecurity industry.

The new partnership focuses on education and workforce development alongside research and technology development.

Leadership from both institutions, along with faculty, staff, and students celebrated the partnership during an official signing event at the Georgia Cyber Center.

As ink hit paper Monday, our cybersecurity workforce becomes that much stronger.

Jacqueline Brigido is from Aiken and went through AU’s cyber program.

She stayed local, and works as the chief of staff for global security at Savannah River National Laboratory.

“These huge hubs for national security are here, and I think we owe it to our peers and our family and friends to put our minds into that for everyone around,” she said.

That’s the goal: To create a pipeline from our local universities to our local businesses.

“We found over and again that if you’re bringing in people from the outside, they might stick with you for three to five years, but having people who are rooted in the community and who have extended family in the community is really important to us,” said Tammy Taylor, associate lab director at SRNL for global security.

This partnership will focus on three areas:

  • Workforce development.
  • Research and technology development.
  • Global security issues.

“It’s definitely a win for us, and it will help us continue to grow and, I think, increase our national prominence in the area, as well,” said Neil MacKinnon, AU provost.

Those areas are crucial to protecting not only our region, state, and nation but also the world.

“For me, safety is my favorite feeling in the world, and it’s a human right and something we all deserve, and there’s no better way to give back to the people than to securing our nation,” Brigido said.


AU and the lab are also hoping to bolster our local economy and bring more entities/businesses to the CSRA.

The two institutions have collaborated in numerous ways over the years, from student internships and research projects to more long-term alliances.

“We’re excited to grow our partnership with Augusta University,” said Taylor. “Through this agreement, we will enhance the educational experience of Augusta University students, bolster the pipeline for new SRNL employees, and create opportunities for SRNL employees to expand their knowledge and capabilities by mentoring and collaborating with Augusta University faculty, staff, and students.”

The move is one of several announced recently by the national laboratory. The lab started a building project at the University of South Carolina Aiken to include office space, lab space, and classroom space for university students. It also is giving a New Ellenton school $5,000 to create a science, technology, engineering, and math lab.