Texas University to Create Cybersecurity Innovation Institute

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The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) is to create and lead a new federal digital research institute that will devise ways to shield America's manufacturers from cyber-threats. 

In addition to assisting US industry in blocking cyber-attacks, the Cybersecurity Manufacturing Innovation Institute (CyManII) will explore how to help manufacturers achieve energy efficiency. 

Other areas of focus will include supporting technical innovation, job creation, and assisting manufacturers to be more competitive. 

The National Security Collaboration Center (NSCC) at UTSA, with more than 25,000 square feet of space, has been dedicated as the home base for CyManII.

Explaining why UTSA was chosen for the institute, James Milliken, chancellor for the UT system said: “We selected UTSA to lead CyManII due to the university’s well-known strengths in cybersecurity and national connectivity in this space.”

In order to bring the project to life, UTSA will receive $70m over a five-year period under a cooperative agreement with the US Department of Energy.

The UT system will inject an additional $10m into the institute, and a further $30m will be contributed by other cost-sharing partners. 

“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.”

Building a national program for education and workforce development, securing automation, and securing the supply-chain network are three high-priority areas on which CyManII will focus its national strategy. 

“As United States 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 cyber-secure the US manufacturing enterprise. Together, we will share the mission to protect the nation’s supply chains, preserve its critical infrastructure and boost its economy.”

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