Published on Jan 23, 2024

FTI expands cyber innovation and education with state-of-the-art HACS Center in Huntsville

Originally published by Huntsville Business Journal

FTI has unveiled plans to expand its cyber operations facilities in Huntsville, Alabama, with the construction of the FTI Huntsville Analysis and Cyber Security Center (HACS Center). The expansion involves adding 25,000 square feet of secure facility space operating at all classification levels, complementing the company’s existing office.

Positioned as a “Cyber Center of Excellence,” the FTI HACS Center will aim to provide a secure environment for collaboration among FTI’s government customers, industry partners, and academics. The expansion will facilitate innovation in cyber through advanced analytics, granting access to FTI’s extensive library of operational technologies and deep technical capabilities in the cyber domain.

This expansion will increase FTI’s cyber operations footprint in Huntsville to a total of 40,000 square feet.

The HACS Center is not only expected to support the 60 FTI employees already based in Huntsville, but also create 140 new jobs over the next three years. The investment for this expansion is estimated to be around $10 million, and the center is anticipated to be complete and operational by the first half of 2025.

“I commend FTI on its expansion in Huntsville, Alabama. The HACS Center will contribute to our national security through cyber security, data analytics and artificial intelligence,” said Alabama Representative Dale Strong (AL-05). “Now more than ever, it’s crucial the United States is on the cutting edge of next-generation war fighting and this investment will contribute to that mission.”

FTI views the HACS Center as a commitment to innovation in cyber and data analytics, serving as a collaborative ecosystem to accelerate innovation in critical areas for the DoD: cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, and data analytics. The center will play a vital role in sustaining and enhancing the DoD’s leadership position in these domains.

“It is exciting to see the great leadership and professionalism the FTI team brings to decision analysis tools and in depth cyber capabilities supporting DoD across the Services,” said Jim Rogers, major general, U.S. Army (ret.) and board member, FTI. “The growth in Huntsville reinforces the importance of this work across all government agencies.”

FTI President Jose Hidalgo mentioned that the expansion in Huntsville was important as the Rocket City plays a major role in cybersecurity for the entire nation.

“The sophistication and danger of cyber threats to our nation have never been greater, and FTI is fully committed to meeting and getting out ahead of them. We’ve very happy to be expanding our local footprint with the FTI Huntsville Analysis and Cyber Security Center to continue to grow our cyber capabilities, solutions, and uniquely skilled staff,” said Hidalgo in an interview with the Huntsville Business Journal (HBJ). “Huntsville’s unique nexus of talent, infrastructure and collaborative industry and government partners is exactly the environment we need to be successful today, and there is no better place to support our fast-growing work driving U.S. Information Advantage into the future.”

Hidalgo also mentioned that Huntsville is the nexus for a variety of agencies, such as the U.S. Army’s Redstone Arsenal, the Missile Defense Agency (MDA), the Missile and Space Intelligence Center (MSIC), and NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, all of which require a high standard of cybersecurity to protect military and space interests. Hidalgo believes that FTI’s HACS Center will fit right in with the structure of Huntsville’s cyber-economic sector to support these institutions.

“There is also a large and growing technology sector, a large number of mission partners, and a wide range of educational institutions focused on cybersecurity in the area. The thoughtful implementation of the many collaborative working groups, industry days, panels, and leadership updates from all of Huntsville’s cyber stakeholders make it the perfect ecosystem for supporting the FTI HACS Center and the application of FTI’s Information Advantage initiatives,” Hidalgo told HBJ.

There will also be a major academic component to FIT’s expansion. Hidalgo mentioned that one of the major goals for FTI’s expansion will be to connect with schools, such as the University of Alabama in HuntsvilleTalladega College, the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and the Alabama School School of Cyber Technology & Engineering.

“Institutions like these are critical to creating our next generation of cyber experts. FTI has had the pleasure of working with UAH, and we are actively pursuing opportunities to collaborate further with them and others,” Hidalgo mentioned in an interview with HBJ.

The announcement of the FTI HACS Center follows the October 2023 news of the FTI Operational Research Bridge for Innovation & Technology (ORBIT Center), a 46,000 square foot secure facility under construction in Colorado Springs, Colorado, focusing on space operations collaboration.


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