Tulsa University, Team8 Partner on Joint Cyber PhD Program
The joint four-year program will accept 10 students a year, and will combine the university's academic knowledge with Team8’s ecosystem to identify the industry’s main challenges and offer practical solutions
The University of Tulsa and Israeli cybersecurity foundry Team8 LLC announced on Wednesday a joint PhD program focusing on cyber research and development. The program will provide the university and Team8 opportunities to identify innovative and groundbreaking technologies and develop them into startup companies, according to the announcement.
The University of Tulsa, located in Oklahoma, is a leading U.S. private research university. In 2012, it was designated by the National Security Agency (NSA) as one of four centers of academic excellence in cybersecurity operations. Team8, based in Tel Aviv and New York, is a cyber think tank and a startup foundry with deep roots in Unit 8200, the Israeli military's NSA equivalent. It is headed by Nadav Zafrir, Unit 8200’s former chief, who founded it together with Israel Grimberg and Liran Grinberg, both veterans of the unit.
Team8 co-founder and CEO Nadav Zafrir. Photo: Orel Cohen
The joint four-year program will accept 10 students a year, and will combine the university's academic knowledge with Team8’s ecosystem to identify the industry’s main challenges and offer practical solutions. It will be funded jointly by the university and the George Kaiser Family Foundation, a Tulsa-based nonprofit organization that supports social and educational initiatives.
The joint program is not an investment for Team8, but a long-term journey to impact the entire industry, Zafrir told Calcalist in a Tuesday interview. Recruitment is a major struggle in the industry, particularly in Israel, where many multinationals compete over the skilled but limited supply of people that graduate from the country’s military units and universities, he said. The foundry's companies recruit over 100 people a year in Israel and while it has no ownership over the program it will provide Team8 with a recruitment edge, he added. “A partnership with a leading university in the cyber world, especially one with connections to the U.S. government, has great potential.”