Grants shall be awarded under this section on a merit-reviewed competitive basis.
The Director shall award multiyear grants, subject to the availability of appropriations, to institutions of higher education, nonprofit research institutions, or consortia thereof to establish multidisciplinary Centers for Computer and Network Security Research. Institutions of higher education, nonprofit research institutions, or consortia thereof receiving such grants may partner with 1 or more government laboratories or for-profit institutions, or other institutions of higher education or nonprofit research institutions.
Grants shall be awarded under this subsection on a merit-reviewed competitive basis.
The purpose of the Centers shall be to generate innovative approaches to computer and network security by conducting cutting-edge, multidisciplinary research in computer and network security, including improving the security and resiliency of information technology, reducing cyber vulnerabilities, and anticipating and mitigating consequences of cyber attacks on critical infrastructure, by conducting research in the areas described in subsection (a)(1).
The Director shall convene an annual meeting of the Centers in order to foster collaboration and communication between Center participants.