A beehive of unrestricted imagination and creativity
Empowering collaboration and innovation between federal and private cybersecurity experts
35,000 square feet
7000 Columbia Gateway, Columbia, MD
DreamPort,a one-of-a-kind facility located in Columbia, MD, was designed to strengthen partnerships between federal and private sector cybersecurity professionals to bring innovative, enterprising solutions to government challenges. In the summer of 2018, the Maryland Innovation and Security Institute (MISI) won a partnership intermediary agreement with U.S. Cyber Command and established DreamPort to bring a diverse set of experts under one roof and provide them with tools, resources and space to collaborate and develop new technologies.
DreamPort is a place for leading cyber, engineering and academic experts to engage in ways never thought possible. It’s clear that the market was hungry for such a beehive of resources, as more than 15,000 professionals from over 1,000 unique companies have collaborated in the space. Without the space, the vision for DreamPort would not be the reality it is today.
DreamPort highlights the unparalleled passion of Karl Gumtow and Armando Seay for innovation and collaboration. Both Directors at MISI, they launched DreamPort to accelerate the government’s mission by leveraging unclassified space. While the vast majority of government-occupied space in the market is classified, DreamPort’s space is completely unclassified. Working in unclassified space allows for greater flexibility and access to more resources, which is uniquely driving progress forward—exactly what MISI hoped DreamPort would do.
To strengthen its contract application in 2018, MISI needed to select the ideal space for its vision. Karl had worked with JLL’s Brad Crosley on past real estate decisions and knew he was the best person for this job. Karl called Brad on a Monday morning to discuss the situation, and by Friday of the same week, the JLL team had a Letter of Intent out for a space. By the time MISI was awarded the contract, that initial location had fallen through. The JLL team, however, quickly found a better option.
Although Brad and JLL made the search for DreamPort’s perfect space seem easy, MISI’s many requirements were challenging. DreamPort needed to be in a convenient location, accessible to the companies interested in being part of the endeavor. Columbia made sense given its proximity to government agencies, academic institutions and three international airports. It also was convenient for those traveling across the entire DC Metropolitan area. The space had to be flexible and offer a combination of workstations, open event spaces, labs and meeting rooms. JLL helped DreamPort find everything they were looking for at 7000 Columbia Gateway Drive, and it allowed MISI to partner with Corporate Office Properties Trust—a landlord who really understood and supported what they were hoping to achieve. Together they worked to design and construct the perfect place for experts to collaborate and innovate.
The space provides a mix of flexible offices, testing labs and meeting space, as well as conference rooms, small breakout rooms and a demonstration center. Communal lab space provides hardware and software resources to enable users to quickly develop and test their theories and generate innovative ideas faster. Every aspect of the space is designed so it can be adjusted to DreamPort’s exact needs at any given time. The physical adaptability of the labs and offices and the flexibility afforded by working in an unclassified space is what drives DreamPort’s mission forward. The space has allowed DreamPort to play a part in the nationwide conversation on the upcoming Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC), one of the most important changes to the Department of Defense’s cyber policy that will impact all DoD contractors when it becomes mandatory in 2020. The DreamPort lab space is currently being utilized to test and model the efficacy of solutions that will support CMMC, and JLL helped ensure the lab could accommodate the power, space and climate control necessary to conduct the testing.
This space has proven just how effective such a facility can be, and DreamPort has only just gotten started. The concept has been so effective, in fact, that in less than a year, DreamPort is exercising its expansion option negotiated by JLL to double its current footprint and add space dedicated to artificial intelligence development and evaluation. This is likely just the first of many expansions. Although DreamPort is Maryland-based, they are not limited to growth opportunities outside of the state. Karl and Armando are currently working on some exciting partnerships and believe the possibilities are endless. Wherever they go, they know JLL will be with them every step of the way.