IHewlett_Logo_psn the largest-ever private donation to the field of cybersecurity, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation announced a $45 million grant to UC Berkeley, Stanford and Massachusetts Institute of Technology to establish three new academic centers to research cybersecurity. UC Berkeley will receive $15 million. Over the next five years, the foundation will also commit to $65 million to further the field of cybersecurity—the largest commitment to date by a private donor.

UC Berkeley’s Center for Long-Term Cybersecurity supports research, curriculum development, seminars, conferences and outreach on the future of cybersecurity. Faculty at the School of Information, where the Center will have its home base, are “enthusiastic” about collaborating with other departments across the campus, according to School of Information Dean AnnaLee Saxenian.

“The I School’s faculty span the fields of law and policy, computer science, engineering and the social and behavioral sciences, so we are ideally positioned to advance our thinking about the long-term future of cybersecurity,” said Saxenian.

The grant is supported by the Foundation’s Cyber Initiative and will help lay the foundation for public policy to deal with growing cyber threats witnessed in the government sector by businesses and individuals.

Many people are solving today’s cybersecurity problems, but what we need to do is solve future problems, according to School of Information Professor Steven Weber. “It means anticipating the future of what it is we are trying to protect and what it means to protect it,” said Weber. This “anticipatory” research is distinct from what the other schools are doing, he told eGrad, adding that this initiative will “require broad participation with all sorts of perspectives.”

For a list of Hewlett Foundation grants, visit Hewlett Foundation’s online grant database.