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AFIT-developed technology licensed for commercial market development

The Air Force Institute of Technology has agreed to allow a Dayton-based company to develop for commercial markets a software security technology that AFIT devised to protect sensitive military computer networks against outside attacks, officials said Tuesday.

The multi-year agreement with SCADA Security Innovation Inc. represents the first time in recent memory that AFIT has licensed one of its technologies to be developed for commercial markets, said Rusty Baldwin, research director for AFIT’s Center for Cyberspace Research. AFIT has applied for a patent for the technology, he said.

It uses encryption and is designed to resist attacks by hackers, Baldwin said. William Kimball, a former master’s degree student at AFIT who is now a research engineer there, developed the technology, Baldwin said. It is called ESCAPE, for Enhanced Signed Code Application for Page-level Execution.

Leaders of the Dayton region’s economic development programs have said that commercializing technologies developed by or for the Air Force at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base is a long-term key to encouraging new business investment that could create jobs.

AFIT and the Air Force Research Laboratory, both located at the base, are leaders in technology development. AFIT provides post-graduate education and technology training for uniformed military and Defense Department civilians, including courses in cyber warfare that explore ways to attack enemies’ computer networks and defend key U.S. networks.

SCADA Security Innovation will market the technology as protection for critical control and operating systems in power plants, wastewater treatment facilities, petroleum refineries and similar operations, said Pete Jenney, chief technology officer of SCADA Security.

The company moved into Dayton’s Tech Town commercial development Aug. 1, said Kerry Taylor, director of the state’s aerospace innovation hub based there. SCADA Security is a spinoff of Security Innovation Inc., a privately owned information security technology company based in suburban Boston.

Taylor, a former Air Force officer hired to attract technology companies to Tech Town, said he introduced SCADA Security officials to AFIT personnel to help start their dialogue.