UTSA chosen by feds to create, lead cybersecurity research institute

Cybersecurity Manufacturing Innovation Institute to focus on cybersecurity in manufacturing sector

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SAN ANTONIO – UTSA has been selected to receive a five-year, $70 million cooperative agreement from the U.S. Department of Energy to establish and lead a new federal research digital institute aimed at protecting U.S. manufacturers from cyberattacks while making them more competitive.

According to a news release, the Cybersecurity Manufacturing Innovation Institute will usher in an era of cybersecurity that focuses on achieving energy efficiency, job creation and technical innovation.

U.S. manufacturers are the top target for cyber criminals and nation-state adversaries, which affects the manufacturing and deployment of energy technologies, such as electric vehicles, solar panels and wind turbines, according to the news release.

Integration across the supply chain network and an increased use of automation applied in energy-efficient manufacturing processes can make industrial infrastructures vulnerable to cyberattacks. To protect American manufacturing jobs and workers, CyManII will enable a digital transformation that makes manufacturers more resilient and globally competitive against our nation’s adversaries, the news release said.

“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. “We look forward to formalizing our partnership with the DOE to advance cybersecurity in energy-efficient manufacturing for the nation.”

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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.

“On behalf of The University of Texas System Board of Regents, UTSA and UT System are grateful to the U.S. Department of Energy for selecting us to lead this very important national effort in cybersecurity and manufacturing. We selected UTSA to lead CyManII due to the university’s well-known strengths in cybersecurity and national connectivity in this space,” said James B. Milliken, chancellor for the UT System. “This groundbreaking endeavor has UT System’s full support as the project is launched and realized.”

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David Ibañez has been managing editor of KSAT.com since the website's launch in October 2000.