UTSA, DOE Collaborate on Cybersecurity Manufacturing Innovation Institute
This public-private partnership aims to help American manufacturers and supply chains adopt secure, energy-efficient approaches in order to secure and sustain the nation’s global manufacturing competitiveness.
The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) launched the Cybersecurity Manufacturing Innovation Institute (CyManII) in late 2020. CyManII is a $111-million, public-private partnership that aims to help American manufacturers and supply chains adopt secure, energy-efficient approaches in order to secure and sustain the nation’s global manufacturing competitiveness.
The CyManII is part of a five-year cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of Energy which includes a consortium of 59 proposed member institutions working together to introduce a cybersecure energy-ROI.
According to the UTSA, 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 work to transform U.S. advanced manufacturing and make manufacturers more energy efficient, resilient and globally competitive against U.S. adversaries.
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.
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.
Howard Grimes, CyManII CEO and UTSA Associate vice president and associate vice provost for institutional initiatives, says this industry-driven approach is essential, enabling manufacturers of all sizes to invest in cybersecurity and achieve an energy ROI rather than continually spending money on cyber patches.