OAS, Cisco and the Citi Foundation open applications for the Cybersecurity Innovation Fund

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WASHINGTON, USA – The Organization of American States (OAS), Cisco and the Citi Foundation inaugurate November 4 for the Cybersecurity Innovation Fund. The initiative, announced in May 2020 by the OAS and Cisco, and which also counts with the support of the Citi Foundation as a sponsor, comprises a fund of US$200,000 to finance innovation projects in Latin America.

Applications will be open from today until December 4, 2020, for organizations that have projects framed within the following categories related to cybersecurity:

(1) Education and awareness, (2) Critical infrastructures, (3) National agencies and public policies, (4) Capacity development, (5) Remote work, (6) Cybersecurity innovation for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), (7) Incident response mechanisms, and (8) Digital crime. Likewise, those belonging to educational centers, research centers, technology centers, SMEs or government agencies may apply.

The executive secretary of the Inter-American Committee against Terrorism (CITE) of the OAS, Alison August Treppel, expressed that “for the OAS it is of the utmost importance to continue supporting the talent of the region that allows us to have local capacities to respond to current cybersecurity threats.Through this initiative, like all those we carry out with our strategic partners such as Cisco and the Citi Foundation, we provide the resources to make the region and cyberspace safer.”

Mario de la Cruz, senior director of government affairs for Latin America at Cisco, stated that “this innovation fund represents a joint effort of the public and private sectors, and the collaboration of the different governments in our region has been key to achieving it; so we thank everyone involved and we hope that the selected projects will help to positively accelerate cybersecurity in our countries.”

For his part, Andre Salgado, head of information security for Citi Latin America, said that “this initiative can be of great benefit to strengthen the cybersecurity ecosystem in Latin America, allowing the creation of security solutions that adapt to the regional threat landscape and supporting the development of talent in our countries.”

This fund complements the offer of free courses that were available from July 15 to October 30, 2020. They were part of the initiative Cyber Innovation Councils, signed by the OAS and Cisco in 2019. The alliance aims to promote educational resources that can help close the gap in professional skills in cybersecurity, as well as promote the adoption of cybersecurity practices in the face of remote work demands in the region.

Similarly, the fund complements the Citi Foundation’s initiative called “Creating a Professional Career in Cybersecurity”, which seeks to train young people from low-income households and promote their professional development in the area of cybersecurity.

For more information on the fund and to apply, visit the website.

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