Delaware Honored for Cyber Security Innovation

Governor Carney, Chief Security Officer Elayne Starkey recognized by SANS Institute with 2017 Difference Makers Award

WILMINGTON, Del. – Governor John Carney and Delaware’s Chief Security Officer (CSO) Elayne Starkey on Friday received the 2017 SANS Difference Makers Award by the SANS Institute.

The Difference Maker Awards recognize individuals “whose innovation, skill, and hard work have resulted in real successes in information security.”

“I am honored that Delaware has been acknowledged as a leader across the nation in cyber security awareness, education, and training,” said Governor Carney. “We need to continue to encourage students to explore careers in cyber security to ensure that we have a pipeline of talented professionals available in this high-demand field. We appreciate the SANS Institute for partnering with us to help make that a reality.”

In July, the State of Delaware partnered with the SANS Institute to provide Delaware high school juniors and seniors, and college students from Delaware or attending a college in Delaware, the opportunity to learn basic cyber security skills. Students test their aptitude through a no-cost online game of discovery called CyberStart. After a qualifying practice round, students were able to compete for scholarships.

CSO Elayne Starkey and the Delaware Department of Technology and Information led Delaware’s enrollment efforts.
“This is such a special award and I am deeply grateful that Delaware’s leadership, especially Governor Carney and Chief Information Officer James Collins, have made cyber security and developing our workforce a top priority,” said CSO Elayne Starkey. “It truly is a collaborative effort that would not be possible without our partners, sister state agencies, and staff. Many thanks to the SANS Institute for recognizing Delaware’s cyber security efforts.”

Highlights of Delaware’s participation in the CyberStart program:

  • 359 Delaware students enrolled in the practice round within two weeks.
  • 47 percent of the students qualified for the CyberStart Game.
  • Delaware students competed with approximately 3,300 other students from Virginia, Michigan, Rhode Island, Iowa, Nevada, and Hawaii.
  • Four Delaware high school and college students were in the top 50 nationally.
  • 20 Delaware students won CyberStart scholarships for more advanced education in cyber security.

Over the last year, Governor Carney took additional action to expand cyber security career exploration for Delaware students by signing into law House Bill 15, legislation that requires public and charter high schools to offer at least one computer science course.

During National Cyber Security Awareness Month in October, Governor Carney announced the launch of Delaware “NSA Day of Cyber” School Challenge, which designed a free statewide program to ignite interest in cyber security among the state’s youth. The program enables students to test drive occupations with the fully-funded online cyber security career exploration platform. The Governor made the announcement at the 2017 Secure Delaware Workshop, an event that highlights the importance of cyber security training for government, businesses, and citizens to strengthen our readiness and response posture.



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ADVISORY: Announcement on Delaware’s Amazon HQ2 Application

WILMINGTON, Del. – On Thursday, October 19 at 2:00 p.m., Governor John Carney will join Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester, New Castle County Executive Matt Meyer, Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki, elected officials, and community members to announce the sites Delaware has proposed to Amazon for the company’s second North American headquarters. The event also will include the screening of a video highlighting what makes Delaware an ideal location for businesses, including Amazon, to grow and create jobs.

WHAT:         Announcement on Delaware’s proposed sites for Amazon’s second North American headquarters.

WHO:           Governor Carney

Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester

Executive Matt Meyer, New Castle County

Mayor Mike Purzycki, City of Wilmington

Cerron Cade, Division of Small Business, Development, and Tourism Director

Members of the General Assembly

Community members

WHEN:        Thursday, October 19

2:00 p.m.

WHERE:       The Delaware Contemporary

200 S Madison Street

Wilmington, DE 19801

RSVP:           Media planning to attend Thursday’s event should RSVP to by 5:00 p.m. Wednesday, October 18 to receive additional information prior to the event.


Carney, Carper, Coons, Blunt Rochester Announce a $3 Million Grant Award for Delaware Innovation Space

WILMINGTON, Del. – Today, Governor John Carney, U.S. Senators Tom Carper and Chris Coons, and Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester (all D-Del.) announced a $3 million grant award from the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA). This federal grant will support capital investments in the Delaware Innovation Space, a new mission based public-private partnership between the State of Delaware, DuPont and the University of Delaware, formed to accelerate science entrepreneurship and build a new world-class innovation community focused on growth and incubation of new business.

“We’re about supporting innovation in Delaware, and working with business and higher education to prepare our workforce, create good-paying jobs, and drive economic growth,” said Governor Carney. “That’s exactly what is happening at the Delaware Innovation Space, and why we have redesigned how our state does economic development to build on this model. Our partnership with DuPont and the University of Delaware will provide supports for early-stage science-based companies, give Delaware innovators the tools they need to build a business, and connect young scientists with leaders in their field. This grant will build on that work, and I want to thank Senator Carper, Senator Coons, and Representative Blunt Rochester for their continued leadership on behalf of Delawareans across our state.”

“After losing thousands of jobs over the year to plant closures and layoffs, Delaware continues to find innovative ways to drive economic growth and opportunity – and the Innovation Space is a critical component to this recovery,” said Senator Carper. “The EDA has recognized that Delaware has a long history of scientific innovation, and this project will leverage their federal investment and use the resources of the University of Delaware and DuPont to attract, retain and grow new industry here. We must continue to find ways to grow our economy for the long-term, and this grant will help foster that innovation.”

“This money will allow Delaware to build on its strong chemical heritage for the future,” said Senator Coons. “With this EDA grant, we will help transform an impressive lab on the DuPont Experimental Station campus and make it more accessible for smaller companies to help fuel the future of our economy. This grant, combined with funding from the State, DuPont, and University of Delaware, will make Delaware home to one of the largest deep technology wet lab incubators in the country.”

“Small business incubators and accelerators are crucial to the future of Delaware’s economy,” said Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester. “The Delaware Innovation Space will provide an environment for small businesses to grow through STEAM education and research, as well as create good paying jobs here at home. This grant from the Economic Development Administration is an important investment in the Delaware Innovation Space and in building a 21st century economy in the First State.”

“EDA’s investment in support of the Delaware Innovation Space will be used to advance and sophisticate our capabilities to better support the needs of the emerging and high growth businesses that we are attracting from across the United States and beyond,” said Delaware Innovation Space President and CEO Bill Provine.“Sharing the innovative strength of Delaware in key markets and sectors from advanced materials, biotechnology, and health care with science entrepreneurs will accelerate economic growth that will sustain for decades, if not for hundreds of years.”

The Delaware Innovation Space is a vital resource in the scientific startup ecosystem and is a non-profit, public-private partnership that offers multi-dimensional, resource-rich support for scientific entrepreneurs at the Experimental Station campus in Wilmington, Del. The Delaware Innovation Space offers a centric location and proximity to world-renowned research institutions, global multi-national corporations and a thriving scientific start-up community.


Delaware Will Compete for Amazon Headquarters

WILMINGTON, Del. Governor John Carney said Friday that Delaware will submit a proposal to Amazon, which is seeking a location to open its second North American headquarters. The Governor intends to bring together Delaware’s federal delegation, leadership of all four caucuses in the General Assembly, the New Castle County Executive, and the Mayor of the City of Wilmington, as the state develops a proposal presenting Delaware as the ideal location for Amazon.

“Delaware is extremely well-positioned to be the site of Amazon’s second North American headquarters,” said Governor Carney. “We have a world-class workforce, and communities that are ideal places to live, work, and raise a family. Delaware is centrally located, with easy access to international airports, extensive railroads, shipping ports, and major interstates. Combine our location with the state’s ability to work quickly and collaboratively with government, business, and academic leaders, and it becomes clear why Delaware would be an attractive option for Amazon. The company is already creating jobs in Delaware, and our bottom line is this: Delaware stands ready to help businesses create good-paying jobs and grow right here in our state. We look forward to making our pitch directly to Amazon, and giving Delaware the best chance to secure the new headquarters.”

“Delaware may be small, but that’s what makes us so nimble when it comes to creating a nurturing environment for business,” said U.S. Senator Tom Carper. “With our first-class workforce and easy access to major highways like I-95 and the northeast corridor railway, the First State would make a great location for Amazon’s second North American headquarters. Moreover, employees look for a place that their families can grow and thrive. Great communities, good schools, pristine beaches, proximity to major cities, and friendly people are hallmarks of Delaware and make it a great place to call home.”

“Delaware is the best place for Amazon’s second HQ because Amazon’s corporate values of excellence, agility, diversity, and inclusion mirror what we value and practice in Delaware,” said U.S. Senator Chris Coons. “I’m proud of our business-friendly economy, our world-class workforce and ample space for commercial development. Which is just the reason why companies like Incyte, Bank of America, Chemours, and others chose to either have their corporate headquarters in Delaware, or a substantial presence in the First State. Amazon already has an impressive footprint in Delaware, and I highly encourage Mr. Bezos to continue to invest in Delaware by locating their second North American headquarters in Delaware.”

“Delaware, coined the ‘Diamond State’ for our central location and accessibility, has so much to offer Amazon’s expansion,” said U.S. Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester. “We feature a dynamic workforce, forward thinking leaders, and opportunity for growing businesses to thrive. Our size allows us tremendous flexibility and interconnectedness. We have diversity, arts, and cultural opportunities for employees to enjoy. Political and local leaders have a history of working together for our community, our businesses, and our neighbors. As our state economy continues to transition, Delaware is investing in jobs for the future and creating an ecosystem for growth.”

“We are pleased to work in partnership with the State and County governments and our Federal delegation to bring Amazon to Delaware,” said Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki. “Naturally, I have a preference for the company coming to Wilmington, but this is a huge opportunity to provide employment for our City residents as well as those who live beyond Wilmington’s borders and to boost our local economy. Amazon will find that Wilmington and all of Delaware welcomes and supports business and knows how to help businesses grow and prosper. We appreciate this opportunity to show Amazon why coming here is the best move it can make.”

“Delaware is the premier destination for Amazon to tap into an exceptional workforce, extraordinary location, high quality of life and a responsive and responsible public sector,” said New Castle County Executive Matt Meyer. “New Castle County is where Amazon should build for the future, and we look forward to collaborating to make that case.”

“Delaware has a well-earned and longstanding reputation as an excellent place to live and to do business,” said Delaware Senate President Pro Tempore David McBride. “Fortune 500s like Amazon flock here for our business-friendly attitudes and legal system, but we offer far more than the world’s foremost Court of Chancery. We also have one of the most skilled, educated workforces in America. We have easy access to I-95, rail, and the Port of Wilmington, in addition to the country’s best digital infrastructure. We’re within two hours of four major cities, and twenty minutes from Philadelphia International Airport. And we have a small, nimble government that values its employers and constituents, and can act quickly when they need something. Amazon knows that firsthand, since they already have two successful fulfillment centers open here. I speak for my colleagues when I say that I’ll do everything in my power to support our efforts to bring them to Delaware.”

“Delaware has been home to some of the best and most innovative companies in the world,” said Delaware House Speaker Pete Schwartzkopf. “It’s my hope we can add a giant like Amazon. Being home to its second national headquarters would mean good-paying careers for residents. We have the advantage of location and flexibility. Being a state of neighbors, we can respond to any issues or questions they might have. I hope Amazon sees that and it gives us a leg up.”

“I am eager to begin work with all governmental agencies, including our municipalities, counties and State to achieve what I hope will be a long-term relationship between Delaware and the Amazon corporation,” said Delaware Senate Minority Leader Gary Simpson. “Our strong business reputation for getting things done quickly and efficiently has always been rooted in our unique ability to work together to achieve results for the businesses that choose to call Delaware home.”

“Our size is an advantage,” said Delaware House Minority Leader Danny Short. “We can literally bring all the players to the table in a single room and be more responsive than perhaps any state in the nation. When DuPont and Dow merged, not many people would have believed we would be able to land the headquarters of two of the three resulting businesses, but that’s what happened. I think we have the same type of opportunity here.”



Governor Carney, Chief Information Officer Announce Innovative Cybersecurity Partnership for Students

Online cybersecurity training offers scholarship opportunities for Delaware high school juniors and seniors, and college students

WILMINGTON, Del. – Governor John Carney announced on Friday a new, innovative cybersecurity training partnership between the SANS Institute and the State of Delaware that provides Delaware high school juniors and seniors at least 16 years old, and college students interested in a cybersecurity career, the opportunity to learn basic cybersecurity skills and test their aptitude through a no-cost online game of discovery called CyberStart.

“Delaware’s future is an innovation economy where technology takes center stage, and our state needs a pipeline of talented cybersecurity professionals,” said Governor John Carney. “I am excited that Delaware is able to partner with an organization like the SANS Institute to engage our state’s high school and college students, and encourage them to explore the field of cybersecurity.”

An introductory practice version of CyberStart will be available online from July 14-28, 2017. Participants who complete five of the eight practice modules will be invited to compete in the full-scale program that will run from August 1-28, 2017. The practice round is mandatory for those who would like to compete.

Participants do not need prior cybersecurity knowledge. Students from Delaware who excel in the CyberStart game will have the opportunity to share in $150,000 in scholarships for further cyber-education, and ultimately for $500,000 in scholarships for college and graduate-level training in preparation for highly sought-after industry certifications.

Delaware students will be competing with students from Virginia, Michigan, Rhode Island, Iowa, Nevada, and Hawaii for scholarships sponsored by the SANS Institute.

“I applaud the SANS Institute for working to ensure the cyber workforce of tomorrow is available to protect our information and systems. The CyberStart program is an excellent and fun opportunity for students who think they may be interested in cybersecurity to determine if they have the passion and aptitude to pursue it as a career,” said Delaware Chief Information Officer James Collins. “I hope young people all across Delaware take advantage of this great opportunity.”

Each player in CyberStart begins as a “cyber protection agent” responsible for protecting an important operational base.  The student chooses and solves challenges, earning points along the way. A cyber protection agent field manual provides answers to questions that may arise and hints help when players get stuck. When the player has solved a sufficient number challenges at one level, a new level opens up and new challenges appear – for a total of 31 levels.

When asked why SANS is making this investment, SANS Director of Research, Alan Paller, said “Because the nation desperately needs more highly-skilled cyber professionals, and we have new evidence that CyberStart will radically improve the quality and preparation of people entering the cybersecurity field.  SANS trains more than 30,000 advanced cybersecurity professionals each year for military and intelligence organizations and for large high-tech companies in the U.S. and its allies. We discovered that those who have mastered the topics taught and measured in the CyberStart program do far better than others in the advanced cybersecurity courses that prepare the critically needed people. By opening CyberStart to hundreds of thousands of students we may be able to help the nation identify the next generation of talented people who will excel in this critical field.”

For more information and to get started playing CyberStart, please visit