UC Davis Joins Cybersecurity Manufacturing Innovation Institute

University of California, Davis is a partner in the Cybersecurity Manufacturing Innovation Institute (CyManII), led by the University of Texas at San Antonio and formally launched Nov. 19. Established through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of Energy, the $111 million public-private partnership is a consortium of 59 proposed member institutions with a goal of driving 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.

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 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.”

Understanding cybersecurity threats in manufacturing industry

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.

UC Davis is one of the 24 university partners participating in the consortium. “We are excited to work with such an extensive network of partners and contribute our expertise in cybersecurity, artificial intelligence and sensor networks to address this important need for the nation,” said Prasant Mohapatra, vice chancellor for research and professor of computer science at UC Davis. Mohapatra is principal investigator for the UC Davis arm of the project.