Moraine Valley Community College was awarded a $600,000 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to establish an Internet of Things (IoT) Coordination Network.

The IoT is a quickly evolving field that involves the use and integration of smart devices capable of collecting, receiving, monitoring, controlling, and sending data to various systems. This grant will allow Moraine Valley faculty and staff to assemble and meet with experts and representatives from academia, manufacturing, industry, and standards organizations as well as users and security specialists to identify the emerging and most popular technologies, products and applications.

“The new IoT Coordination grant will enable Moraine Valley to establish a leadership role in developing programs that produce the IoT technicians of the future,” said Dr. John Sands, Moraine Valley professor/department chair of Information Technology and director/principal investigator of the Center for Systems Security and Information Assurance (CSSIA) NSF Regional Center.

“Our faculty and staff also will establish close relationships with the organizations that research and publish new standards that will govern and determine future development of these products. We were awarded this grant as a result of many years of work in cybersecurity education and promoting security in the emerging IoT industry.”

The college has hosted symposiums related to this topic, which has influenced various workplaces, homes and educational institutions. Students also will benefit from meeting with this congregation of businesses as well as be at the forefront of this emerging technology in the classroom. It is one of several technology-based grants Moraine Valley has received over the years.

“Since 1999, Moraine Valley has received over $11 million in cybersecurity-related grants from the NSF. Our first grant supported the development of the college’s A.A.S. degree in Applied Internet Technology and our next grant, awarded in 2003, established the college’s CSSIA. Since then, the college has received six NSF grants, all of which allow us to continually update our cybersecurity education programming so that we can respond to changing labor market needs,” said Dr. Sharon Katterman, Moraine Valley director of Resource Development and Institutional Effectiveness.