My Bossier has watched the Air Force Cyber Command and the development of the Cyber Innovation Center from its inception.
The basis of the $100,000,000 investment in the CIC was, of course, that it would bring up to 10,000 new jobs to the area. Now that the Air Force has announced that they will not create Cyber Command as a separate entity, and have in fact based it in Colorado, how is the CIC adjusting to ensure that our investment will have a return?
KTBS is taking a look at the Cyber Innovation Center and asking the same questions we have asked in 15 posts:
Work on the Cyber Innovation Center in Bossier City, a civilian research facility that would work with the Air Force cyber warfare system, continues -- despite a letter from the Air Force sent months ago cautioning cities looking to land cyber command against investing in new buildings.
The city, parish and state are building the facility next to Bossier Parish Community College as the first building in a research park dedicated to cyber technology. It is expected to open in a year.
Director Craig Spohn expects to have commitments from prospective tenants by April. They are looking to land high-tech companies that have military contracts and would work with cyber warfare, wherever in the military system it is located. He doesn't think taxpayer money is being wasted -- despite questions of why build a $100 million Cyber Innovation Center if the Air Force won't have a separate command for cyber warfare.
"We were never intending to be a one trick-pony with respect to the Air Force. The Air Force provided us a good catalyst and still does because of the things at Barksdale Air Force Base and it's not scheduled to go away.
"There are new businesses coming to town," Spohn insisted. "There are actually millions of dollars worth of research in the cyber field today that weren't here a year ago."
Perhaps Mr. Spohn could share the names of the businesses that have been lured here by the CIC, and give us examples of these millions of dollars of research that CIC has helped create. We could feel much more comfortable about the $100,000,000 if we had some specifics.