Cyber hub announces progress since opening

By: Eric Czarnik | Sterling Heights Sentry | Published November 28, 2016

 Larry Herriman, from the Macomb-OU INCubator, stands in front of the Velocity Hub of the Michigan Cyber Range in Sterling Heights earlier this year.

Larry Herriman, from the Macomb-OU INCubator, stands in front of the Velocity Hub of the Michigan Cyber Range in Sterling Heights earlier this year.

File photo by Deb Jacques

Things are picking up speed at a recently opened cyber security hub associated with the Macomb-OU INCubator at the Velocity Collaboration Center in Sterling Heights.

During a Nov. 15 Sterling Heights City Council meeting, Larry Herriman, who directs the Macomb-OU INCubator, gave a brief presentation about the center’s recent happenings, particularly with its new Velocity Hub of the Michigan Cyber Range.

Herriman said the cyber hub had its opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony in March. Since then, the hub has been carrying out educational and business activities within the community and beyond.

“Basically, the Velocity Hub is a computer lab used for cyber security activities,” he explained. “Our tagline for the lab is education, validation and preparation.”

For instance, Herriman said, the cyber hub aims to serve as a classroom for more than 20 programs, each about five days long, that offer certification for cyber security fields. The hub also offers penetration testing to businesses in order to minimize cyber vulnerabilities, and offers a “secure sandbox” for testing networks.

Herriman said the cyber hub helped host a major technology event in July called the 2016 SAE Battelle CyberAuto Challenge. During that event, high schools got a chance to team up with industry professionals to delve into vehicle cyber security, he explained.

He said the hub recently became home to a career exploration high school STEM camp; STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

“We discuss issues and topics like future job demand for careers in cyber security, in information assurance and in social engineering,” he said.

Sterling Heights City Manager Mark Vanderpool said the City Council approved the Velocity Collaboration Center about eight years ago, and he called it one of the most unique facilities in the area. He said the center also houses a business incubator that nurtures startups so they can become bigger. A robotics innovation lab is in the works, Vanderpool said.

“So there’s a lot going on there, as you can see from the presentation tonight,” he said. “And we’re lucky to have such a facility in Sterling Heights.”

Find out more about the Macomb-OU INCubator at the Velocity Collaboration Center, 6633 18 Mile Road in Sterling Heights, by visiting www.oakland.edu/macombouinc or by calling (586) 884-9320.