The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently announced the selection of the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA), to lead the Cybersecurity Manufacturing Innovation Institute (CyManII), a public-private consortium to bolster U.S. manufacturing competitiveness, energy efficiency, and innovation. CyManII will focus on early-stage research and development (R&D) to advance cybersecurity in energy-efficient manufacturing.
"As the sector-specific agency for cybersecurity in the energy sector, the DOE is committed to working with our public and private partners to mitigate cyber risks across the energy sector, including in advanced manufacturing," said Undersecretary of Energy Mark W. Menezes. "Through the CyManII, the DOE will leverage the capabilities of the Idaho, Oak Ridge, and Sandia National Laboratories across the applied energy, science, and national security mission space to develop innovative cybersecurity technologies and strategies to minimize risk and accelerate energy efficiency across manufacturing supply chains. This institute will help ensure America's manufacturing base remains secure, resilient, and globally competitive."
Securing critical infrastructure in the United States from cyberattacks is one of the most important challenges before the nation. In 2018, the Trump administration released the National Cyber Strategy to protect the nation's critical infrastructure, including energy, from cyber espionage and attacks, and the Strategy for American Leadership in Advanced Manufacturing prioritized the development of new technologies to help make U.S. manufacturing more cyber secure. Advanced manufacturing in the United States is improving energy efficiency through new sensor and control technologies, but also has the potential to introduce cyber vulnerabilities. The purpose of CyManII is to address those cyber vulnerabilities to secure America's manufacturing sector.
"Advanced manufacturing technologies, including novel industrial control systems, hold promise to improve the energy efficiency and competitiveness of the U.S. manufacturing sector," said Daniel R Simmons, assistant secretary for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. "CyManII will address a range of cybersecurity challenges to enable the increased adoption of next generation energy-efficient technologies in American manufacturing."
CyManII will lead a national consortium with partners from industry, universities, and three DOE National Laboratories. The consortium will focus on making U.S. manufacturing more energy efficient and cybersecure by addressing two key manufacturing challenges: securing automation and securing supply chain networks. Through cutting-edge R&D, CyManII will develop an enhanced understanding of evolving cybersecurity threats to manufacturing, develop new cybersecurity technologies and methods, and share information and knowledge with U.S. manufacturers. The institute will also address the need for education, training, and workforce development in advanced manufacturing and cybersecurity.
"Our electricity and oil and natural gas partners across the energy sector provide the services that underpin the national defense, vital emergency services, critical infrastructure, economy, and way of life for the American people," said Alexander Gates, the DOE's senior advisor for cybersecurity. "This institute will rebuild the United States' position as a global leader in clean manufacturing at a time when foreign adversaries continue to threaten the security of our country."
CyManII is funded by the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy's Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO) and co-managed with the Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security, and Emergency Response (CESER). The institute will leverage up to US$70 million, over five years, in federal funding, subject to appropriations and will be matched by over US$40 million in private cost-share commitments. The sixth institute funded by the AMO, CyManll will be a part of Manufacturing USA, a network of federally funded institutes dedicated to improving U.S. manufacturing competitiveness, and promoting a robust and sustainable national manufacturing R&D infrastructure.