CCI NoVa Node shows off new spaces and shares plans

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Liza Wilson Durant, associate provost, strategic initiatives and community engagement (on left) meets with Megan Healy, Virginia Secretary of Labor in the CCI NoVa Node’s Living Innovation Lab on the Arlington Campus.

Virginia Secretary of Labor Megan Healy joined Commonwealth Cyber Initiative (CCI) NoVa Node Director Liza Wilson Durant on a walking tour of the construction site that will soon be transformed into a hub for the Innovation District in Arlington. They also toured the innovation pilot space in Vernon Smith Hall on George Mason University’s Arlington, VA campus.

The Digital Innovation Pilot space is home to the CCI NoVa Node’s Living Innovation Lab which includes a 5 G testbed and robotic platforms to evaluate 5G performance and security vulnerabilities. Its research teams study the impact of 5G on industry, internet of things or Industry 4.0, and smart manufacturing, as well as the vulnerability of the supporting power grid and building automation systems. The lab includes work to understand autonomous vehicle safety and security vulnerabilities through platforms that support LIDAR, radar, stereo, and night-vision cameras that are deployed on the NoVa Node’s fleet of vehicles that simulate autonomous driving.

Healy, whose primary role is to work closely with the state’s labor and business communities to identify and fill vacant jobs in high-demand sectors, said it was great to discuss hiring challenges and talent development and see the lab space.

Wilson Durant says she welcomed the opportunity to share the details about the innovative changes ahead for the Arlington Campus and the CCI NoVa Node with Healy and others.

“It was a great opportunity to connect with the Secretary of Labor and get her perspective on what we’re doing, in the CCI NoVa Node for workforce development, innovation and commercialization of technologies, and ensuring that we’re meeting the commonwealth’s needs,” Wilson Durant says.