The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced $53 million in funding for small businesses to pursue projects aimed at combatting climate change. The funded areas include grid security and resilience, renewable energy, energy storage, carbon capture and utilization, and fusion energy, and will support 259 projects in 38 states.

The funding is being administered by DOE’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs in phases to encourage participation of diverse communities and collaboration between research institutions and small businesses. Three of the proposed projects under Phase I are under the leadership of the Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security, and Emergency Response (CESER), which is focusing its efforts on energy systems cybersecurity and actionable cyber intelligence.

In the interest of developing solutions that incorporate “security by design,” the projects will help answer the question “What next?” when addressing a suspected or confirmed cyber incident. Each project’s goal is to develop tools, techniques, or methodologies that provide actionable and implementable solutions to prevent malicious intrusions or alterations to our grid. The projects are as follows: 

  • Charles River Analytics, Inc., located in Cambridge, MA, has proposed “Bayesian, Advanced, Novel, Detailed, and Actionable Intrusion Detection (BANDAID). The project will result in cyberattack detection and inference solution for OT systems that provides actionable feedback to security personnel, allowing for faster attack classification and improved response times.
  • Covert Defenses, LLC, located in West Lafayette, IN, has proposed a project entitled “Covert Cognizance: A Novel Predictive Modeling Paradigm for Securing Unattended High-Valued Systems.” The project will result in a plug-and-play embedded device created and tested against a variety of cyberthreats, which can protect devices from cyberthreats by augmenting the digital brain of the system with automated intrusion detection and data recovery capabilities.
  • GCAS, Incorporated, located in San Marcos, CA, has proposed the Cyber Attack Forecasting System (CAFS). The project will result in the development of statistical methods for predicting the future movement of a cyberthreat who has breached an OT network.

To learn more about the funding award opportunity and the 259 total projects that it encompasses, read DOE’s official press release.