Carnegie Mellon Announces PaCSCI Phase-1 Awards

February 13, 2006

Three teams of Carnegie Mellon students and faculty have received Phase-1 funding in the amount of $7,500 under the Pennsylvania Cyber Security Commercialization Initiative (PaCSCI) program for 2006.

The PaCSCI program is funded by The Technology Collaborative (TTC), an economic development organization that resulted from the merging of the Pittsburgh Digital Greenhouse and the Robotics Foundry. TTC's mission is to help increase Pennsylvania's technology-based economy by developing collaborating industry clusters that leverage the region's world-class assets in Advanced Electronics, Cyber Security, and Robotics.

The objective of the PaCSCI program is to kick-start the creation of cyber security start-up companies in Pennsylvania by funding multidisciplinary student teams at Pennsylvania universities. There are two different phases of funding under PaCSCI: Phase-1 funding, which supports university teams, and Phase-2 funding, which supports company formation and commercialization. This funding can be used to research the marketability of products, develop business plans, or purchase materials, facilities, or software needed to develop a business.

The three teams that received Phase-1 funding this year are:

  • Trinetra ('The Third Eye'): Assistive Technologies for the Blind

INI student Patrick Lanigan, ECE research programmer Aaron Paulos, and ECE student Andrew Williams under the direction of assistant professor of ECE Priya Narasimhan

  • PrivacyFinder: Helping Internet Users Find Web Sites that Respect Their Privacy

CS student Serge Egelman under the direction of associate research professor of CS Lorrie Cranor

  • Coral: An Infrastructure to Defend and Contain Large Scale Malware Spread on the Internet

ECE students Ahren Studer and Juan Caballero under the direction of ECE research scientist Chenxi Wang

Previous Carnegie Mellon teams that have received Phase-1 funding include INI students Hooman Radfar and J. Austin Fath for their project "A Secure Semantic Info Architecture (Clearspring)"; and INI student Suchit Mishra and ECE students Rajat Dhariwal and Vishal Chorida for their project "OmniPark: Access Control, Management & Security." The Clearspring team went on to receive Phase II funding, which helped them develop a start-up company that provides semantic information integration software to companies.