Center of Excellence puts New Mexico at the forefront of cybersecurity

Stephanie Montoya
Partnership between the State and New Mexico Tech grows innovation and the economy

SANTA FE, NM – Thanks to Gov. Lujan Grisham’s initiative to establish The Centers of Excellence, New Mexico is quickly becoming a leader in providing solutions and growing businesses that provide protection against 21st Century digital threats. 

New Mexico’s Cybersecurity Center of Excellence at New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology is helping to make the State of New Mexico a hub for technology and innovation, while also educating New Mexico’s next generation of cyber industry leaders. The Cybersecurity Center of Excellence is one of four centers created under Gov. Lujan Grisham’s administration in 2019, all with the aim of linking the research capabilities of New Mexico’s colleges and universities with economic development and workforce to grow key industries in the state. 

Gov. Lujan Grisham said, “More tech companies are choosing New Mexico because we invested in the development, talent, and resources that will bring good jobs to New Mexicans. From our national and defense laboratories to our emerging presence in space flight, bringing innovation and industry together brings prosperity to New Mexico.” 

In addition to the $713,000 the Center has received in state funds since 2020, it has leveraged private and national funding to invest an additional $3.6 million into research, education, and economic development initiatives. The Center has also employed 35 students in real-world research and development projects as well as community outreach.

Higher Education Secretary Stephanie Rodriguez said, “New Mexico’s colleges and universities help pave the way for New Mexico to thrive by developing the ideas and technologies we need to be competitive, while also educating and mentoring New Mexicans to become leaders in these industries I commend the Cybersecurity Center of Excellence at New Mexico Tech for the work they are doing to make our state a hub for technology and innovation.” 

 “Cybersecurity impacts all of us and we are grateful to Gov. Lujan Grisham’s leadership in targeting this industry sector for growth, and the Center for taking the lead on this critical effort to secure New Mexico’s place as a technology leader in the 21st century,” Economic Development Department Secretary Alicia J. Keyes said.  

The Cybersecurity Center of Excellence has led the development of graduate programs in collaboration with New Mexico State University and the University of New Mexico, which began enrolling students this fall. Students at the graduate and undergraduate level continue to engage in research projects and activities at the Center, and it has also conducted STEM outreach and education in local public schools to engage K-12 students in learning about cybersecurity through educational games and activities. 

“New Mexico Tech is excited to partner with the state of New Mexico to provide solutions for modern digital threats while providing our students yet another opportunity to apply concepts from the classroom in a real-world setting,” New Mexico Tech President Stephen Wells said. “This type of program is a cornerstone of the New Mexico Tech educational experience that helps build an advanced workforce for New Mexico.” 

The Center has developed and delivered a series of cybersecurity entrepreneurship and training workshops to New Mexico businesses and has partnered with the U.S. Departments of Defense and Homeland Security, and New Mexico’s national and defense laboratories to conduct cybersecurity research and training. The New Mexico Economic Development Department and the U.S. Department of Defense are currently collaborating in CyberReady, a project to provide resources and training to New Mexico residents and provided 40 companies with Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification.