Today, Beer-Sheva, Israel has become a cyber hub, with Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) recognized as a leader in the cyber field and numerous international cybersecurity companies moving to the city. Prof. Dan Blumberg will delve into Cyber@BGU, BGU’s world-class cyber research center, which serves as a catalyst for the unique technology ecosystem that is thriving in Beer-Sheva. Discover how Cyber@BGU provides a shared research platform for some of the world’s most innovative and technologically challenging projects in partnership with global companies and governmental organizations. Gain insight into BGU’s collaboration between the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), industry, academia, and local authorities in developing a new innovation ecosystem, and how the future of cyber security is emerging from the Negev desert.
Prof. Dan Blumberg, the Simon Family Chair in Remote Sensing, is the vice president for industrial and regional development at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU), responsible for the ongoing expansion of the high-tech industry throughout the Negev and leveraging BGU’s applied research and innovation throughout the world.
He is also the founder and director of the Homeland Security Institute (HSI), where he oversees BGU’s many and varied fields of study and expertise: cybersecurity; building and armor protection; bio-sensing; data mining and exploration; border protection; autonomous robotics; emergency preparedness and response; communications; and water safety and security.
To fulfill its mission, HSI brings together scientists from many disciplines, including engineering, psychology, medicine, and geography. The work of the Institute is being complemented by the transfer of some 5,000 of the Israel Defense Forces’ elite high-tech personnel to the IDF Technology Campus adjacent to BGU’s main campus.
Prof. Blumberg’s own groundbreaking research on environmental remote sensing has a wide variety of homeland security applications, including rapid response and detection of targets, anomalies and hazardous materials. He is the author or co-author of over 200 scientific papers on topics that include, among others, aeolian wind streaks, sand dunes, soil moisture assessment, oil spills, uses of radar, and water quality monitoring.
In his previous role as BGU’s vice president and dean for research and development, Prof. Blumberg played a key role in transforming BGU into a world-renowned research institution, as exemplified by the development of the Advanced Technologies Park, which connects to the BGU Marcus Family Campus through a pedestrian bridge, and includes illustrious global tenants such as IBM, Lockheed-Martin, EMC, Oracle, and Deutsche Telecom. He also oversaw the development of collaborative efforts with the Israel Police, Israel's defense establishment, private industry, and successfully lobbied for many large research grants.
A member of the International Academy of Astronautics, Prof. Blumberg also heads BGU’s Earth and Planetary Image Facility, an affiliate of NASA’s Regional Planetary Image Facilities network. In 2017, his lab launched into space Israel’s first academic nanosatellite, BGUSAT. Finally, his work as the founder of the Green Campus project has transformed BGU into Israel’s most environmentally sustainable university and one of the top “green” universities in the world.