UCI Joins National Manufacturing Cybersecurity Collaboration

Friday, December 11, 2020

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The California Institute for Telecommunications & Information Technology at the University of California, Irvine is joining the Cybersecurity Manufacturing Innovation Institute, a national organization focused on improving cybersecurity and energy efficiency in American manufacturing.

In late November, the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) formally launched CyManII, a $111 million public-private partnership funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, to engage in collaborative research and development that will help U.S. manufacturers become more resilient against cyber threats. UTSA will lead the consortium of 59 proposed member institutions.

U.S. manufacturers are among the top targets for cybercriminals 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 cyber-attacks.

To protect American manufacturing jobs and workers, CyManII will transform U.S. advanced manufacturing and make manufacturers more energy-efficient, resilient, and globally competitive.

UCI’s Calit2 and 24 other universities will collaborate to develop tools, technologies, and guidance for securing manufacturing, supply chains, factory automation and information, and for manufacturing workforce development.

“Our role is to align smart manufacturing with cyber-secure manufacturing and renewables to provide truly sustainable solutions,” said Calit2 director G.P. Li, UCI professor of electrical engineering and computer science.

Calit2 scientists and engineers will seek to develop wireless digital transformation platforms to help U.S. manufacturers become more competitive while fighting climate change and continuing to sustain their growth. These digital approaches can transform small and medium-sized manufacturers in business and technical practices related to improving work productivity; reduce energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, and waste; enhance logistic and supply chain management; and protect proprietary information and privacy – all while creating a happy, healthy working environment.

As part of its national strategy, CyManII will focus on four priority areas where collaborative research and development can help U.S. manufacturers: securing automation, securing the supply chain network, improving energy efficiency, and building a national program for education and workforce development.

“Our target group of manufacturing companies are small and medium-size. Upgrading their efficiency by leveraging data will allow for a surge of demand from internal markets,” Li said. “At the same time, we want to ensure cybersecurity and provide energy efficiencies that support the nation’s goal to combat climate change and its impact.”

Proposed partners in the consortium include Idaho National Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and Sandia National Laboratories; four manufacturing innovation institutes; 24 other universities; 18 industry leaders and 10 nonprofits.

CyManII is funded by the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s Advanced Manufacturing Office and co-managed with the Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security, and Emergency Response.


Created in 2000, the California Institute for Telecommunications & Information Technology – known as Calit2 – is one of four Gray Davis Institutes for Science and Innovation located on University of California campuses. Calit2@UCI develops IoT technology-based innovations in a multidisciplinary research environment. By integrating academic research with industry experience, the institute seeks to benefit society, incubate new technology companies and ignite economic development. Calit2 focuses on the digital transformation of health care, energy, the environment and culture. For more on Calit2, visit calit2.uci.edu.

Founded in 1965, UCI is the youngest member of the prestigious Association of American Universities. The campus has produced three Nobel laureates and is known for its academic achievement, premier research, innovation and anteater mascot. Led by Chancellor Howard Gillman, UCI has more than 36,000 students and offers 222 degree programs. It’s located in one of the world’s safest and most economically vibrant communities and is Orange County’s second-largest employer, contributing $5 billion annually to the local economy. 

Photo (Steve Zylius/UCI): Calit2 director G.P. Li, UCI professor of electrical engineering and computer science: “Our role is to align smart manufacturing with cyber secure manufacturing and renewables to provide truly sustainable solutions.”

Category: Partner News, cybersecurity, Education News