DOE Backs Early-Stage Research Advancing Cybersecurity

April 2, 2019
The U.S. Department of Energy announces up to $70 million for a Clean Energy Manufacturing Innovation Institute.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announces up to $70 million for a Clean Energy Manufacturing Innovation Institute to develop technologies that will advance U.S. manufacturing competitiveness, energy efficiency and innovation. The Institute will focus on early-stage research for advancing cybersecurity in energy efficient manufacturing.

The manufacturing and industrial sector consumes about 25% of the nation’s energy, according to DOE. DOE estimates that the adoption of automated controls and sensors provide the potential for up to 15% improved energy efficiency in manufacturing, according to a report from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL). Cybersecurity threats in the energy sector negatively impact the manufacturing and deployment 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 energy efficient manufacturing processes can make industrial infrastructures vulnerable to cyber-attacks.

“Improved cybersecurity can reduce risks as well as catalyze adoption of more energy efficient technologies in the manufacturing industry,” says U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry. “This Institute will conduct early-stage research to help U.S. manufacturers remain resilient and globally competitive against cyberattacks.”

DOE identified two major high priority challenge areas where collaborative research and development (R&D) can help U.S. manufacturers remain resilient and globally competitive against cyberattacks: 1) securing automation and 2) securing the supply chain network. The Institute will pursue targeted early stage R&D that 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 to the broader community of U.S. manufacturers. In addition, the Institute will address the education and training needed for cyber-secure automated sensors that will enable greater manufacturing energy efficiency. 

While the DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s Advanced Manufacturing Office will fund the Institute, it will be co-managed by DOE’s Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security and Emergency Response. DOE plans on funding one new award for up to five years, subject to appropriations. Concept papers are due on May 15, 2019.

For more information and to view the funding application and submission requirements, visit: www.energy.gov

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