Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility Innovations in Security Technology and Research (ISTaR) | University of West Florida
Skip to main content
two cybersecurity students working in a computer lab

Innovations in Security Technology and Research (ISTaR)

The University of West Florida aims to promote innovations in security technology and research. ISTaR is the University’s contribution to U.S. national security and is part of the institution’s broader innovation ecosystem.

Given its geographic location, UWF plays a direct and unique role in America’s National Security Innovation Base. ISTaR consists of programs, projects and other activities in numerous disciplines across the University, including business, computer science, cybersecurity and engineering.

Participating programs include:

student at a computer terminal

Hacking for Defense at UWF

Also known as “H4D@UWF,” Hacking for Defense at UWF is a for-credit course that allows undergraduate and graduate students the opportunity to develop a deep understanding of the problems and needs of U.S. government sponsors in the national security establishment, including the Department of Defense and the Intelligence Community. During the course, students work in teams to conduct customer/beneficiary discovery, rapidly develop product prototypes and design solutions to meet sponsors’ needs. For more information about Hacking for Defense at UWF, please complete our intake form.

Hacking for Defense at UWF

two students working with a robotic arm

Enterprise Program

The Enterprise Program is a series of required courses for mechanical engineering majors in which students work as teams to create products that can be commercialized and/or submitted to national competitions.

Enterprise Program

student at a desk working with a model rocket

Unmanned Systems Lab

Part of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering’s Student Showcase, the Unmanned Systems Lab was created to demonstrate student work in unmanned vehicles and to stimulate student interest in field.

Science Showcase

codefest participants attending a lecture


A collaboration between the Hal Marcus College of Science and Engineering and the College of Business, CodeFest is an intense, 48-hour event during which students engage in coding, making connections, improving presentation and sharpening technical skills with industry mentors.


mvrc staff member with a student examining some paperwork

Veterans Florida Entrepreneurship Program

Administered by the UWF Military and Veterans Resource Center, the Florida Veterans Entrepreneurship Program provides veterans with opportunity to gain experience and training launching a company or nurturing a startup.

Eligibility Information

student explaining their project board to a judge

Da Vinci Innovation Celebration

The Da Vinci Innovation Celebration, first held in October 2017 by the UWF Center for Entrepreneurship and College of Business, offers students the opportunity to showcase innovative ideas to peers, faculty members and staff for a chance to win cash prizes. The event is open to students from all majors.

Da Vinci Innovation Celebration

Student sitting at a computer

Center for Cybersecurity

Designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education by the National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security, the Center propels innovative cybersecurity solutions locally, nationally and globally while supporting the region’s workforce and economic development. The Center serves as the NSA/DHS Southeast CAE Regional Resource Center and hub for cybersecurity education, research and partnerships.

UWF Center for Cybersecurity