Possibilities are endless as Cyber Center looks at expansion and more partners

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Thursday, May 9, 2019
News 12 at 6 O’Clock/NBC at 7

AUGUSTA, GA (WRDW/WAGT) -- New businesses will start moving into the new Cyber Center buildings, but Augusta University has a lot more room to grow there.

It seems like the options are endless.

There are no concrete plans yet, but Eric Toler, executive director of the Cyber Center says they want to expand the university's resources and bring more help in to fight cyber crimes.

Folks like Tony Lever from Invest Augusta are already noticing changes to the city.

“I've lived here my entire life,” Lever said. “When I was growing up if you asked somebody what they were going to do when they graduated from high school, it was, ‘I don't know, but I am leaving Augusta.’”

But Lever says it’s not like that anymore because now there are opportunities in Augusta.

“These types of companies we're going to see, it's going to be that private market that goes to the enterprise sector that is going to grow this town and grow more wealth and more people than ever," Lever said.

Downtown is working to be better. Not to mention the Cyber Center is booming to new levels.

“We look at it as the Cyber Center being just a catalyst to the growth of the community,” Toler said.

There's already two buildings, but they still have acres of land that leaves room for more. Toler says they want to build a research facility for Augusta University, but it doesn't stop there.

"I think Augusta University, as it grows, we'll build some more dormitories, but really they want the community to build the housing and so if you look across the river there's a lot of housing,” Toler said. “I think that's starting to come to the Georgia side as well."

Toler says they're also doing some construction on the 3rd, 4th, and 5th floor to get ready for more sectors to move in.

“On the fifth floor is a defense digital service so they were our first [Department of Defense] partner that signed on,” Toler said.

The reach is even going beyond the state.

"We all need to start working together in order to protect ourselves in this new domain,” Toler said.

Toler says with more ransomware attacks, the collaborations are needed. He says they are in close negotiations with another DOD partner to move into the second building and are very close to signing more industry partners.

Hopefully we'll find out who once they sign a lease.

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