Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced a new, $1.5 million request for proposals (RFP) for projects that can help U.S. manufacturers both defend against cybersecurity attacks and reduce their energy consumption.

Increased automation, such as advanced sensors and controls, is a critical tool for improving the energy efficiency of the manufacturing sector. However, as manufacturers become more dependent on automation, the risks of cyber threats increase. Recent advances in machine learning, artificial intelligence and augmented reality have the potential to improve productivity, performance and safety while reducing disruptions from cyber-attacks.

“The manufacturing supply chain is vulnerable to cybersecurity attacks at every point between the factory floor and the customer,” said Acting Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Kelly Speakes-Backman. “These investments will help protect American manufacturers, ensure that they are prepared to respond and recover from cyber-attacks, and make them more competitive and resilient.”

Projects funded through this solicitation will develop technologies that address the cybersecurity threats posed by connected devices, networking, and real-time data. This will allow manufacturers to safely and securely deploy the advanced technologies that contribute to the decarbonization of American industry.

“Americans are more connected with one another and through our supply chains, but this also makes us more vulnerable to cyber intrusions and attacks by bad actors,” said Senator Angus King (I-Maine), Co-Chair of the Cyberspace Solarium Commission. “Through projects like the Department of Energy’s initiative, we can make our IT infrastructure more protected and resilient – for the good of our economy, and just as importantly: peace of mind.”

View the request for proposals.

DOE's Cybersecurity Manufacturing Innovation Institute (CyManII) will manage these projects. 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.

CyManII is also a part of Manufacturing USA®, a network of federally funded institutes that have a specialized technology focus to increase U.S. manufacturing competitiveness and promote a robust and sustainable national manufacturing R&D infrastructure.