Investments will establish a network of collaborative, academic cybersecurity centers focused on developing new technologies and the workforce needed for the grid of the future
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, as part of the Biden Administration’s effort to defend U.S. power infrastructure from increasingly sophisticated cyber threats, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced $10 million to establish a network of university-based, regional cybersecurity research and development (R&D) centers across the nation. The funding seeks to bolster the overall security and resilience of U.S. electric power systems through technological innovations and development of a cybersecurity workforce that is well versed in both electrical engineering and critical infrastructure cybersecurity requirements.
“Investing in the cybersecurity workforce is key to building and implementing a robust cyber strategy across the entire U.S. energy sector, especially as we shift to clean energy systems,” said Puesh Kumar, Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for DOE’s Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security, and Emergency Response (CESER). “We’re eager to leverage American academia to research and develop unique cybersecurity solutions needed to protect critical assets in the electricity sector.”
DOE’s academic centers will address emerging cyber risks by enabling universities, industry stakeholders, regulatory bodies, and the National Laboratories to collaborate on multi-disciplinary R&D solutions and develop hands-on cybersecurity training programs across a range of energy sector entities, including utilities and regional grid operators.
DOE is committed to addressing disproportionate health, environmental, economic, and climate impacts on disadvantaged communities. In support of that commitment, the benefits of this funding opportunity announcement (FOA), will be distributed equitably across the country, including in underserved communities and underrepresented groups. Applicants are highly encouraged to include individuals from groups historically underrepresented in STEM on their project teams, and are required to describe how diversity, equity, and inclusion objectives will be incorporated in the project.
This FOA supports the Administration’s Electricity Subsector Industrial Control Systems (ICS) Cybersecurity Initiative, a 100-day plan to improve the cybersecurity of the nation’s electric infrastructure.
Concept papers are due on October 13, 2021. For more information, please visit https://www.fedconnect.net/fedconnect?doc=DE-FOA-0002503&agency=DOE.