The Miami Valley Research Park is the “optimum facility” for a new cybersecurity center that would create at least 30 new jobs in Kettering, a top official from Virginia-based Lunarline Inc. said Wednesday.

Landing that center will depend on whether Lunarline can close a “budget gap” in the cost of updating the 3,000-square-foot facility at 1900 Founders Drive to meet its security requirements, said Keith Mortier, the company’s president and chief operating officer.

“We are very interested in being here, we are just trying to close that gap a little bit from a cost perspective,” Mortier said.

Lunarline has applied for an ED/GE grant of $50,000 from Montgomery County, according to documents obtained by this newspaper. In total, the project would cost $600,000.

The company also is considering locations in Florida, Colorado and California. Mortier expects to announce their decision in the next 30 days.

Lunarline monitors online networks to reduce and mitigate intrusions for customers that include the U.S. departments of Defense and Energy, as well as private entities such as large health-care organizations.

“All you have to do is look at the experience Target has had in the last few months to see just how critical cybersecurity is to protecting commerce,” said Bruce Pearson, president and chief executive of Miami Valley Research Park.

On Wednesday, Mortier met with local architects and builders to evaluate the feasibility of upgrading the Kettering site from a security perspective.

“We have classified personnel and we are going to be processing classified data, so it needs to meet the requirements that are set down by the government in order to do that,” he said.

Kettering is a front runner because of its proximity to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and a number of area universities that could partner with the company’s cybersecurity internship program, Mortier said.

Lunarline would hire at least 30 local technology workers with an average annual salary of $75,000.

Founded in 2004, Lunarline has seen about 30 percent annual growth, Mortier said. The privately held company has 100 employees nationwide.

© 2014 the Dayton Daily News (Dayton, Ohio)