NOVEMBER 19, 2020 — UTSA today formally launched the Cybersecurity Manufacturing Innovation Institute (CyManII), a $111 million public-private partnership. The university will lead the institute, entering into a five-year cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of Energy to head up a consortium of 59 proposed member institutions in introducing a cybersecure energy-ROI that drives American manufacturers and supply chains to further adopt secure, energy-efficient approaches, ultimately securing and sustaining the nation’s leadership in global manufacturing competitiveness.
U.S. manufacturers are one of the top targets for cyber criminals and nation-state adversaries, impacting the production of energy technologies such as electric vehicles, solar panels and wind turbines. Integration across the supply chain network and an increased use of automation applied in manufacturing processes can make industrial infrastructures vulnerable to cyberattacks. To protect American manufacturing jobs and workers, CyManII will transform U.S. advanced manufacturing and make manufacturers more energy efficient, resilient and globally competitive against our nation’s adversaries.
“CyManII leverages the unique research capabilities of the Idaho, Oak Ridge and Sandia National Laboratories as well as critical expertise across our partner cyber manufacturing ecosystem,” said UTSA President Taylor Eighmy. “UTSA is proud and honored to partner with the DOE to advance cybersecurity in energy-efficient manufacturing for the nation.”
As part of its national strategy, CyManII will focus on three high-priority areas where collaborative research and development can help U.S. manufacturers: securing automation, securing the supply chain network, and building a national program for education and workforce development.
“As U.S. manufacturers increasingly deploy automation tools in their daily work, those technologies must be embedded with powerful cybersecurity protections,” said Howard Grimes, CyManII chief executive officer and associate vice president and associate vice provost for institutional initiatives at UTSA. “UTSA has assembled a team of best-in-class national laboratories, industry, nonprofit and academic organizations to cybersecure the U.S. manufacturing enterprise. Together, we will share the mission to protect the nation’s supply chain, preserve its critical infrastructure and boost its economy.”
CyManII’s research objectives will focus on understanding the evolving cybersecurity threats to greater energy efficiency in manufacturing industries, developing new cybersecurity technologies and methods, and sharing information and knowledge with the broader community of U.S. manufacturers.
CyManII aims to revolutionize cybersecurity in manufacturing by designing and building a secure manufacturing architecture that is pervasive, unobtrusive and enables energy efficiency. Grimes said this industry-driven approach is essential, allowing manufacturers of all sizes to invest in cybersecurity and achieve an energy ROI rather than continually spending money on cyber patches.
These efforts will result in a suite of methods, standards and tools rooted in the concept that everything in the manufacturing supply chain has a unique authentic identity. These solutions will address the comprehensive landscape of complex vulnerabilities and be economically implemented in a wide array of machines and environments.
“UTSA has helped position San Antonio and Texas as a national leader in cybersecurity, and today it will expand its cyber expertise to protect America’s manufacturing competitiveness,” said University of Texas System Chancellor James B. Milliken. “UTSA’s leadership of this new public-private consortium with industry, universities, nonprofits and the Department of Energy demonstrates its extraordinary capabilities to conduct research, enhance workforce development and design new efficient approaches, all aimed at strengthening protection against threats to our country’s manufacturing environment.”
UTSA was designated by The University of Texas System to lead its CyManII proposal, based on the university’s core expertise in cybersecurity and the breadth and depth of its national relationships. In addition to $70 million in federal funding, the institute will be supported by an additional $41 million in cost-sharing funds from its partners, including UT System’s commitment of $10 million, bringing the total five-year investment to over $111 million.
CyManII has 59 proposed members: three Department of Energy National Laboratories (Idaho National Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories), four Manufacturing Innovation Institutes, 24 powerhouse universities, 18 industry leaders and 10 nonprofits. This national network of members will drive impact across the nation and solve the biggest challenges facing cybersecurity in the U.S manufacturing industry.
CyManII is funded by the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s Advanced Manufacturing Office and comanaged with the Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security and Emergency Response.
UTSA will host the CyManII virtual launch event on November 19 at 2:30 p.m. The event will include a range of national level speakers, including congressional members, academic leaders and industry experts from the cyber and manufacturing sectors.
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