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by Michelle Z. Askeland

A couple years ago, the Colorado

Springs Chamber & EDC began exam-

ining the cybersecurity industry and

quickly identified it as a major empha-

sis area for the future. A city vision

was formed for Colorado Springs to

become a cybersecurity capital within

the United States.

This vision rapidly accelerated in

2016 with the announcement of three

major projects. The National Cyberse-

curity Center, a nonprofit organization

with a mission to provide collabora-

tive cybersecurity response services

through education, training and

research, inspired by Gov. John Hicken-

looper, selected Colorado Springs for

its home. Plans for the U.S. Northern

Command/NORAD Joint Cyber Center

were announced; it will be an Air Force

asset that will focus on cybersecurity

challenges. And the Catalyst Cam-

pus, a local, private, industry-focused

technology campus announced plans

to build a cyberlab to help small and

midsize technology companies.

“Between these three pieces, you

have one that’s receiving state funding

and support, one that’s receiving fed-

eral dollars through the Air Force and

one that’s privately funded,” said Andy

Merritt, the chamber’s chief defense

industry officer. “So you’ve got very

different and distinct, but also very

complementary, activities that all real-

ly started coming into place last year.”

While those outside of the industry

are still grappling with what cyberse-

curity entails, those in the industry

already have put Colorado Springs on

the map. The chamber hosted several

U.S. and international cybersecurity

companies interested in relocating

last year and Merritt expects interest

to continue to grow. He’s also seeing

the established and startup companies

already located in the city growing and

adding significant numbers of new


In some ways, cybersecurity is

a natural outgrowth of the strong

information technology industry

already present in Colorado Springs.

“There’s been a lot of talent and

companies here that have made

those kinds of shifts into that

cybersecurity realm,” said Merritt.

Going hand in hand with that IT

strength is Colorado Springs’ repu-

tation for strong communications


The city’s prevalent military and

Department of Defense presence

helps as well. For example, the Air

Please see Page 26

Colorado Springs is looking to the cybersecurity industry to boost office activity.

March 2017 Colorado Springs fosters the cybersecurity industry


Denver highlight PAGE 12 Office well-being PAGE 20 TOD smart cities PAGE 19 In order to meet future demand, downtown needs more available large-sized spaces. Occupant-first design takes center stage in many ways at several new office projects. Energy efficiencies and connectivity play crucial roles at Panasonic’s new office.