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Government Cyber Contractor Eyes Texas Expansion

Noblis, a research and technology nonprofit, is looking to expand its San Antonio workforce focusing on artificial intelligence, data science and cybersecurity.

(TNS) —  Government contractor Noblis, a research and technology nonprofit, is looking to expand in San Antonio — home to the 24th Air Force Cyber Command, the University of Texas at San Antonio and outposts of several federal agencies.

The group plans to expand its staff of 21 in San Antonio to about 125 over the next few years, said Mike Cameron, director of cybersolutions at Noblis. The Virginia-based contractor is hoping to grow its work in San Antonio around artificial intelligence, data science and cybersecurity, he said.

“It’s just a goal — not a commitment — but over the next two to three years, we’d like to build a technology business down there that’s maybe 100, 125 people,” Cameron said. “We’d be thrilled if it was more than that, but I think if we can get to 125 people over the next three years, that will be growth that we can manage.”

The group’s current staff in San Antonio primarily works on environmental science projects.

Noblis may transfer some employees to the area, but the contractor hopes to hire the “vast majority” of them in San Antonio, Cameron said.

“We have a cyber and data science center of gravity in our company,” Cameron said. “San Antonio bills itself as Cyber City USA, so there’s that part alone, but the real reason is that the business ecosystem down there very closely mirrors the Washington, D.C., area.”

The universities and government organizations here “who all buy what we do,” make San Antonio attractive, said Cameron, who also noted “the way the municipal and county and state government get behind the tech industry and support it.”

Cameron said he was “very confident” that the company would start hiring in San Antonio this year.

“It really depends on how quickly we can begin building business in San Antonio,” he said, but he also said Noblis is “very encouraged” by the reception its had from several government agencies in San Antonio.

And it’s in the process of working out a research agreement with the UTSA “that will allow us to collaborate fairly broadly with the university in a number of technology areas,” Cameron said.

Noblis has also already given UTSA a letter saying it’s interested in participating in its future National Security Collaboration Center, Cameron said. UTSA is planning for the center to be a place to “advance research, education and workforce development in the areas of cybersecurity, data analytics and cloud computing,” according to its website.

When Cameron was hired on at Noblis to grow a cyberbusiness, he was asked where the major cybermarkets are, to which he says he answered: San Antonio, Fort Gordon in Georgia and Huntsville, Alabama.

“We talked it through and it seemed clear to us that for what we wanted to do, and the time frame that we had, that San Antonio was a more mature and receptive market than the other two,” Cameron said.

Noblis describes itself as a “nonprofit organization with … the highest caliber of scientific and technical excellence. Our work makes an impact on the civil, defense and intelligence missions that ensure our nation’s vitality and security.”

The news was reported earlier by the San Antonio Business Journal.

©2018 the San Antonio Express-News Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.