Dr. Taylor Eighmy, University of Texas San Antonio (UTSA) President and former board chair for IACMI-The Composites Institute, is leading a team of 15 major universities in cybersecurity, smart and energy efficient manufacturing, and deep expertise in supply chains, factory automation, and workforce development. The core team of a newly established institute, Cybersecurity Manufacturing Innovation Institute (CyManII), brings to bear the most powerful expertise and infrastructure needed to secure the digital transformation that will continue to propel U.S. innovation in manufacturing for decades. IACMI-The Composites Institute members are actively engaged in advancing materials and process in their respective organizations, and increasingly, these digital connections require increasing levels of effort for cybersecurity.

At a 2018 IACMI Members Meeting in Detroit, Michigan, Dr. Doug Adams, IACMI Nondestructive Evaluation expert and Vanderbilt University Distinguished Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering Daniel. F. Flowers Professor presented a keynote on the Internet of Things that highlighted the potential benefits of connecting processes, equipment, and products. The Internet of Things (IoT), the concept of connecting any device to the internet and to other connected devices, is driving the fourth industrial revolution.  This connectivity does accelerate innovation on the path to market and improve user experiences, but it also adds to existing challenges for securing data and information.

UTSA is a recognized leader in cyberinfrastructure and security and has assembled a world class team of partners and consortium members to support this proposed Institute.  CyManII is leveraging one of the strongest Department of Energy National Laboratories with its collaboration with Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), a world leader in advanced manufacturing, and one of IACMI’s core partners.  IACMI will seek to serve as a strategic member of the CyManII consortium.

“CyManII will be a critical asset to our membership and especially these OEMs who face increasing challenges and threats in maintaining security across their diverse manufacturing activities and the supply chains that serve them,” noted John Hopkins, IACMI CEO.  He continued, “CyManII’s approach will result in an economically viable, pervasive, and inconspicuous cybersecurity in American manufacturing to secure the digital supply chain and production automation.  Through engagement with CyManII, IACMI will ensure there is connectivity across our membership to these solutions and opportunities to implement them to support their manufacturing needs”.

In its cybersecurity trends for 2019 post, Brian Calkin, CTO for The Center for Internet Security highlighted his expectations of additional cybersecurity challenges as data moves out of enterprise environments and onto shared systems. With half of all cyber-attacks targeting small businesses, the interest in ensuring U.S. companies can remain competitive in this new environment requires additional consideration for cybersecurity.