April 5, 2022

Bowie State University Announces the BIONIC Initiative

Program to Combat Misinformation and Disinformation Campaigns

Bowie State University Announces the BIONIC Initiative


MEDIA CONTACT: David Thompson, dlthompson@bowiestate.edu, 301-860-4311

(BOWIE, Md.) – Bowie State University (BSU) in partnership with The Maryland Center at Bowie State University announces the establishment of an innovation center to perform research and development projects aimed at countering misinformation, disinformation and associated negative consequences.

A Historically Black College and University (HBCU), Bowie State University will serve as the lead on this initiative to combat counter malign activity in collaboration with several partners;

The new Bowie State University Influence Operations National Innovation Center (BIONIC) is designed to leverage research in artificial intelligence, publicly available information, and cognitive/human behavioral sciences to combat adverse misinformation campaigns. BIONIC will engage BSU student to help assess, analyze, and deploy the benefits of an integrated approach to detect, deter, and defeat dangerous malign/adversarial information campaigns that can threaten our national security.

“With our partners, BIONIC will focus on advanced research & development with, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and cognitive human-machine interactions that can help reduce organizations’ information threat,” said Dr. Lethia S. Jackson, chair of  the department of technology and security at Bowie State. “Misinformation can be a mistake while disinformation is intentionally dishonest and a security threat.  Both can cause irreparable harm to an organization,” she said.

BIONIC will create new opportunities for the students and faculty of BSU, and potentially other HBCUs, to participate in internships, apprenticeships, and career opportunities in advanced technology and science fields. The BIONIC initiative is expected to lead to research funding that aids both continuing education and the application of student ingenuity toward solving real-world problems related to misinformation and disinformation.

BIONIC also provides BSU with the opportunity to open a gateway for HBCU participation at the new Hawai’i Pacific Innovation Campus (HI-PIC). The HI-PIC, a Oahu-based Independent Test Organization dedicated to supporting the growth of a robust innovation district in Hawai’i, will provide testing for BIONIC partner solutions. The HI-PIC’s focus is on bringing leading-edge technology and innovation together to solve hard problems and train the next generation of technologists for high-tech jobs. The HI-PIC is currently supporting the Department of Defense in the Indo-Pacific bringing together cutting-edge technologies and partners to address strategic challenges.

Bowie State University’s collaboration with the HI-PIC provides new strategic partnership opportunities for BSU with other university partners and businesses in Hawai’i that can provide economic support to both students and the local Hawaiian economy.

 Bowie State is already capable of executing and administering advanced security programs sponsored for DOD as evidenced by the university’s U.S. Army Cybersecurity program. In addition, the university students finished third in a 2020 national academia Adversarial AI/Deep Fake Challenge that was sponsored by the U.S. Army’s Night Vision Labs.

The Maryland Center at Bowie State University is the only HBCU affiliate that is a mentor for the Department of Defense (DOD) Mentor-Protégé program and is supporting the U.S. Army’s Threat System Management Office (TSMO) researching current threats, providing solutions, and deciphering threat-relevance to new attacks that target the Army.

“We are extremely excited about the BIONIC initiative in collaboration with our strategic partners,” said Dr. Carl Goodman, Provost at Bowie State.  “As an HBCU, we have firsthand experience with the harms of misinformation/disinformation campaigns aimed at degrading our disparate populations and the role it plays in undermining our national security. The BIONIC initiative propels Bowie State University to the front lines of new research and development in this critical area of national need,” said Dr. Goodman.


About Bowie State University
Bowie State University (BSU) is an important higher education access portal for qualified persons from diverse academic and socioeconomic backgrounds, seeking a high-quality and affordable public comprehensive university. The university places special emphasis on the science, technology, cybersecurity, teacher education, business, and nursing disciplines within the context of a liberal arts education. For more information about BSU, visit bowiestate.edu.

About NineTwelve Institute
The NineTwelve Institute is a nonprofit organization committed to solving critical challenges by taking action and driving innovation through cross sector collaborations with government, industry, and academia. Fueled by mission-driven subject matter experts in technologies including microelectronics, 5G, advanced manufacturing, unconventional energy, hypersonics, space, and cybersecurity, NineTwelve is dedicated to job creation, sustainable economic development and making the world a better place now and in the future.