Clemson University has been selected to take a prominent role in educating the country’s manufacturers in cybersecurity attacks, the university announced Nov. 19.
Clemson will be the managing partner in the new Cybersecurity Manufacturing Innovation Institute (CyManII) — a $111 million partnership launched by the University of Texas at San Antonio. The university’s new position would place it at the forefront of combating hackers working to steal sensitive information from manufacturers.
“In theory, people could hack into a manufacturing line and do all kinds of things that could be detrimental,” said Paris Stringfellow, a program director at Clemson and the chief commercialization officer of the institute. “We’ll be creating the tools and enabling the skills that manufacturers can use to protect themselves. This is more important than ever as manufacturers are revisiting the design and resiliency of their manufacturing lines and supply chains in light of the recent COVID-19 disruptions.”
CyManII is made up of 59 member institutions. The consortium includes three Department of Energy National Laboratories (Idaho National Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories), four manufacturing innovation institutes, 24 powerhouse universities, 18 industry leaders and 10 nonprofits.
The institute’s work will seek to secure automation, secure the supply chain network and develop a U.S.-wide education and workforce related to its work. CyManII will specifically focus on small and medium-sized manufacturers, according to Stringfellow.
“This groundbreaking institute brings together some of the nation’s leading scholars to help prepare manufacturers for the fourth industrial revolution, an era that will be defined by intelligent systems and big data,” said Robert Jones, Clemson University executive vice president for academic affairs and provost. “As a managing partner, Clemson is well positioned to help manufacturers in South Carolina and throughout the nation access the latest in cybersecurity technology and skills.”