advanced manufacturing

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has joined the Cybersecurity Manufacturing Innovation Institute (CyManII) to help make advanced manufacturing processes and supply chains more cyber-secure. With an investment of over US$1 million in five projects, the two partners will also work to increase the efficiency of the advanced manufacturing technologies for clean energy future possible, and directly address existing challenges that make them expensive and difficult to secure. 

Launched last September, as DOE’s cybersecurity energy-efficient manufacturing Institute, CyManII is a national organization focused on improving cybersecurity and energy efficiency in American manufacturing. CyManII is a partner within EERE’s Advanced Manufacturing Office and co-managed by DOE’s Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security, and Emergency Response (CESER). 

The two organizations will begin their joint effort across five selected projects by focusing on various technical objectives identified by CyManII to strengthen the cybersecurity infrastructure of advanced manufacturing while optimizing energy efficiency.   

The partnership will work with rGE Research to design, implement, and demonstrate building blocks for secure and energy-efficient automation components used in manufacturing. They will also influence work with Indiana University on the development of an Industrial Internet of Things-based energy management framework that incorporates smart manufacturing, energy usage, and cybersecurity data to identify and evaluate energy-saving opportunities in real-world industrial environments.

The DOE-CyManII combination will also work with Purdue University to build a secure, scalable, open shop-floor data hub for integrating, assessing, and indexing manufacturing data streams for more efficient access. The partnership will also work with Texas Tech University on the development of a framework for determining baselines for secure automation of advanced manufacturing, specifically demonstrated in chemical conversion processes. They will also influence the University of California, Irvine and Omnigence with the establishment and evaluation of methods for securing the semiconductor supply chain.  

“Manufacturing processes and technologies are changing quickly as the sector adapts to increase energy efficiency and resiliency,” Kelly Speakes-Backman, Assistant Secretary for energy efficiency and renewable energy, said in a media statement on Monday. “DOE’s investment in cybersecurity innovation ensures that as we build America’s clean manufacturing future, we’re also securing and protecting our supply chains, industrial control systems, and infrastructure.” 

Data released by Positive Technologies reveals that the industrial sector has become increasingly attractive to hackers in recent years. Attacks are getting more successful and their scenarios more complex, while organizations often cannot detect a targeted cyberattack on their own. 

The situation is exacerbated when such companies have blind faith in the reliability of security automation tools and do not put infrastructure robustness to the test, Positive Technologies said. Unfortunately, security assessments prove that attackers can easily gain access to such systems. 

To protect American manufacturing jobs and workers, CyManII seeks to transform U.S. advanced manufacturing and make manufacturers more energy-efficient, resilient, and globally competitive against adversaries. As part of its national strategy, CyManII focuses its attention on three high-priority areas where collaborative research and development can help U.S. manufacturers, including securing automation, protecting the supply chain network, and building a national program for education and workforce development. 

Last December, the California Institute for Telecommunications & Information Technology at the University of California, Irvine joined CyManII to develop wireless platforms to promote sustainable factory processes. Before that, the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) joined CyManII to work as a member to protect digital automation platforms in manufacturing facilities and manage CyManII’s cybersecurity portfolio.

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