South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster and University of South Carolina President Bob Caslen unveiled a statewide initiative in February, 2021 to develop a cyber ecosystem strategy. This plan will further align the state’s existing cyber initiatives, strengthen technical capability and capacity, and attract cyber executives, workers, and investors to the state. This is an opportunity to further position South Carolina as a highly competitive player in the cyber industry, and to train, attract, and produce a workforce for the economy’s high-tech, high-paying jobs.
The first step in this effort is to conduct a nine-month study to assess the state’s current cyber assets and analyze strengths and gaps. This comprehensive inventory includes cybersecurity companies, enabling organizations, workforce, education and training programs, key policies, defense partnerships, and economic incentives. This study will also include engagement with a wide range of cyber stakeholders.
Gov. McMaster tapped the University of South Carolina to lead this study.
To perform this critical work, UofSC’s Office of Partnerships, Innovation, and Economic Engagement (OIPEE) engaged longtime university partner kglobal, a Washington, DC-based strategic consulting firm. kglobal formed a unified team with Simon Everett, Ltd., an analytic design firm that specializes in research and strategic planning services. Together, kglobal and Simon Everett have performed similar studies examining the cybersecurity economy and workforce in other regions and states.
Prior to this cyber initiative, kglobal and Simon Everett have provided business diversification support to 26 companies across South Carolina on behalf of the SC Department of Employment and Workforce and Department of Commerce, under a grant program from the Department of Defense’s Office of Local Defense Community Cooperation. The team has also supported outreach efforts for OIPEE since 2017.
“kglobal and Simon Everett are trusted partners of the state and UofSC,” said Bill Kirkland, executive director of UofSC’s OIPEE. “We have seen them successfully advance economic, workforce, and defense industry development initiatives in many other states, and we trust their perspectives and insights to inform the evolution of South Carolina’s cyber ecosystem.”
The strategic cyber plan is slated for delivery to Gov. McMaster by the end of 2021.
Headquartered in Washington D.C., kglobal is a full-service strategy firm with a diverse portfolio of global clients, including the U.S. military, trade associations, think tanks, Fortune 100 companies, manufacturers, and government agencies at the state and federal level. They employ inventive, but tested, tactics and best practices gleaned from our commercial campaigns and marry them with a full range of professional and technical services to execute campaigns for private business entities and government agencies alike.
About Simon Everett
Simon Everett is an analytic design firm that specializes in research, analysis, and strategic planning to address a wide range of economic development, international development, global security, and organizational challenges. Simon Everett’s client list includes the U.S. Department of State, U.S. Trade and Development Agency, U.S. International Development Finance Corporation, U.S. Special Operations Command, U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory, the Commonwealth of Kentucky, the Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Corporation, and dozens of companies in industries including engineering, manufacturing, healthcare, information technology, construction, and training.