Featured Institutes

The Florida Semiconductor Institute (FSI)

The University of Florida (UF) & the State of Florida have an unprecedented opportunity to demonstrate leadership in ‘semiconductors’ & attract federal & private funding. Indeed, Florida is well positioned, boosting the 5th largest semiconductor workforce in the nation, however, lacks large-volume chip manufacturing foundries. Fortunately, the University of Florida is home to the world’s top innovators & modern educational modules driving translational research accelerating lab-to-fab, yet more research & development and educational space is needed. That is, because to double the U.S. workforce in semiconductors in one decade, as aimed for in the CHIPS Act, we must graduate ten times more students than we do today.

The Florida Semiconductor Institute (FSI) at UF is a powerhouse for research & development, innovation and education on-and around emerging materials, chip design, process development, heterogeneous integration, advanced packaging, and assurance and cybersecurity. Educationally, FSI and UF offer the first comprehensive education & training program on semiconductors and chips, named CHIPS-21st. This program offers innovative, flexible degree options for every learner, such as 100% online (EDGE), hands-on modalities, short-courses, micro-credentials, and higher education options in semiconductors, microelectronics, packing, and chip assurance. Our graduates enjoy top placements in leading electronics manufacturing companies or choose to start their own venture.

The Florida Institute for Cybersecurity Research (FICS Research)

The Florida Institute for Cybersecurity Research (FICS Research) was established to be the nation’s premier multidisciplinary research institute in the advancement of cybersecurity as a basis for long-term partnership and collaboration among industry, academe, and government. FICS Research’s mission is to directly support research needs of industry and government partners in with pooled, leveraged resources and maximized synergy and to enhance the educational experience for a diverse set of top-quality graduate and undergraduate students. FICS Research will advance knowledge and technologies in this emerging field and ensure commercial relevance of the research with rapid and effective technology transfer and establishing spin-off companies.

FICS Research is unique. It is arguably the only institute in the country that provides excellent expertise in all aspects of cybersecurity and assurance including hardware, networks, mobile, big data, internet of things (IoT), applied cryptography, machine learning, social sciences, law, and more.

The Warren B. Nelms Institute for the Connected World

The Warren B. Nelms Institute for the Connected World was established to lead research and education in all aspects of the intelligent connection of things, processes, people, and data that address major world challenges including health, energy, transportation, and manufacturing.

Together with industry, university, and government partners, the Nelms Institute serves to develop broad, interdisciplinary Internet-of-Things (IoT) technologies, applications, and policies to create more secure and connected communities. To fuel the next industrial revolution, the Institute will promote tech transfer, entrepreneurship, policy, education and outreach in IoT and its integral components of sensors, low-power embedded processing, communication, networking, cloud computing, data analytics, machine learning, security, privacy and trust.

Since its inception in 2017, the Warren B. Nelms Institute for the Connected World has worked toward becoming a national leader in education and research on Internet of Things (IoT) Innovation. Under the leadership of Dr. Swarup Bhunia, Director, and Dr. My T. Thai, Associate Director, the Warren B. Nelms Institute has developed broad IoT technologies and applications to create more secure, efficient, and connected communities.

Thanks to our multi-disciplinary team of 60 expert faculty and leading cohort of over 120 graduate and undergraduate researchers, the institute is exploring new ways to use connected IoT technology to solve major health, energy, transportation, environmental, and manufacturing issues while also remaining focused on the privacy and security of people utilizing smart devices.

With billions of IoT-connected devices already in the world today—and billions more in the coming years—the institute is enabling University of Florida to remain at the forefront of this burgeoning field while creating a critical mass of expertise at the convergence of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and IoT.


Computing systems and services are an essential part of modern society and are deeply embedded in people’s daily lives. However, as practices and technologies for ensuring security and privacy of computing systems emerge and rapidly change, the needs of marginalized and vulnerable populations have been under-addressed, as have the consequences of their exclusion. This Frontiers-scale project seeks to fundamentally change how security and privacy in computing is approached, to make centering the needs of marginalized and vulnerable populations the norm. To do so, the team of researchers will create security and privacy design principles that mitigate harm and enhance the benefits of both current and future computing technologies.

This work will be informed by direct collaboration with marginalized and vulnerable communities and by strong technical foundations and social science theories. This project will build and sustain a community of researchers to ensure that the needs of marginalized and vulnerable populations are centered in security and privacy over the long term. Such work will develop research methodologies and outcomes that inform design, education, and policy to impact both the scientific community and society at large. The project focuses on examining three major themes: assessing the security and privacy needs of marginalized and vulnerable populations, informing and co-creating solutions that intersect with current and emerging technologies, and systematizing and applying foundational design principles. The first area involves quantitative and qualitative human-centered research methods and direct community input to address the unique challenges and needs of different populations. The second area involves identifying how technology can be leveraged or reimagined to address these needs through methodologies that consider security and privacy goals for systems and data. The final area involves iteratively synthesizing lessons and experiences from the previous two areas to support integrating security, privacy, and safety needs of marginalized and vulnerable populations into future technology design and researcher efforts.