A year after creating a center of excellence forging new solutions to cyber security, the National Institute of Standards and Technology recently said it has added 11 industry partners.

The new partners to the National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence include Cisco Systems [CSCO], Hewlett-Packard [HPQ], HyTrust Inc., Intel Corp. [INTC] and its security company McAfee, Microsoft [MSFT], EMC Corp.’s [EMC] RSA division, Splunk Inc., Symantec [SYMC], Vanguard Integrity Professionals and Venafi Inc. The companies will contribute hardware and software and share best practices and personnel with the center.

The cyber security center was formed last year by NIST, the State of Maryland, and Montgomery County in Maryland to work with industry and academia and government experts to find practical solutions for businesses’ urgent cyber security needs.

“Cyber security is one of the toughest technical challenges facing the nation today,” Patrick Gallagher, director of NIST, said in a statement. “NIST looks forward to working with these top private sector companies and our state and federal partners in Maryland to help the National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence jumpstart its work to better protect our vital IT infrastructure and business information.”

Vendors, researchers and others can participate at the center through various collaborative mechanisms in addition to the new industry partnerships.