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A NEW LEADING EFFORT SAFEGUARDS MANUFACTURING AND TRANSPORTATION NETWORKS AGAINST CYBERATTACKS

01-31-2022

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Cybersecurity Manufacturing Innovation Institute steps up leading role in defending nation’s critical infrastructure against cyberattacks with new training facility at Port San Antonio

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SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS - The Cybersecurity Manufacturing Innovation Institute (CyManII), led by The University of Texas at San Antonio, today announced plans to establish the Texas Manufacturing x Transformation Hub (TxMx Hub), a new facility to accelerate training and strategic collaborations that safeguard installations and transportation assets operated by U.S. public- and private-sector partners. The training facility is the next step in the shared goal of The University of Texas System, UTSA and CyManII to strengthen America’s cybersecurity workforce by upskilling and reskilling workers.

The $5 million facility, funded the Texas legislature and located at Port San Antonio’s technology innovation campus, will focus on CyManII’s goal of ensuring the preparedness of one million workers by 2026. Through the TxMx Hub, CyManII will provide novel and necessary cybersecurity education, training and certifications for the nation’s manufacturers, focusing on cyber-informed, secure-by-design architectures to assist manufacturers statewide in becoming better protected from, and more resilient against, cyber-attacks.

As a partner in the endeavor, the Port San Antonio Board of Directors has approved a resolution providing CyManII the 14,500-square-foot facility rent-free for up to 18 years—a value of $2.5 million.

The Hub’s efforts will focus on reaching manufacturers in critical sectors such as aerospace, computer hardware, advanced manufacturing, robotics, automobiles and electric vehicles. Initially, it will work with manufacturers to address urgent Department of Defense Cybersecurity Maturation Model Certifications (CMMC) as well as other cybersecurity requirements. It will also deliver workforce training to college students, workers, executives, government officials, industry experts and Texas companies.

“Through CyManII, we are evolving, elevating and transforming digital manufacturing in the U.S.,” said UTSA President Taylor Eighmy. “At the same time, because we’re doing this work in San Antonio, we’re contributing to the creation of a highly diverse workforce to protect the nation’s critical infrastructure. That mission is very important to our university and to our city.”

San Antonio is home to the nation’s largest cybersecurity community outside of Washington, D.C. Port San Antonio’s 1,900-acre campus, located just southwest of the city’s downtown, is home to critical national cyber operations, including the 16th Air Force (Air Forces CYBER) and an array of firms that support U.S. Department of Defense and private-sector clients.

Port San Antonio map: CyManII
CyManII’s new TxMx Hub will be located in the heart of the Port San Antonio campus, which is already home to leading cybersecurity operations serving the Department of Defense and private sector.

“The nation faces critical challenges and at the forefront is our vulnerability to cyber-attacks from cyber criminals to nation state adversaries,” said Howard Grimes, CyManII Chief Executive Officer and UTSA Associate Vice President for Institutional Initiatives in the office of the Vice President for Research, Economic Development, and Knowledge Enterprise. “For the U.S. to compete on the global stage, it is imperative that our manufacturing infrastructure is cybersecure.”

The TxMx Hub will accelerate Texas manufacturing by first assisting in meeting rapidly emerging cybersecurity requirements and will then accelerate innovation by introducing small and medium sized manufacturers to CyManII’s technical research and development projects. These manufacturers will be educated and trained to adapt CyManII’s transformative Energy Efficient (ε) Pervasive, Unobtrusive, Resilient and Economical (ε-PURE) secure manufacturing architecture into their daily operations.

“Port San Antonio will provide CyManII and its partners a platform and a unique community to advance work that is critically important to the future of our state and our nation,” said Port San Antonio President and CEO Jim Perschbach. “In our increasingly connected world, we have some tremendous opportunities ahead to increase the efficiency and productivity of leading industries like manufacturing. To deliver on that promise, it is essential that we safeguard those assets and transportation channels and ensure their resiliency.”

ARSOC cybersecurity services
The TxMx Hub’s neighbors on the Port campus will include the recently launched Alamo Regional Security Operations Center (ARSOC)—a collaboration between the City of San Antonio and CPS Energy to safeguard their respective digital assets against cyberattacks.

The TxMx Hub will ensure that Texas and its collaborators become prime contributors for cybersecurity, manufacturing and energy efficiency. At the new facility, manufacturers will have access to cutting-edge tools and educational curricula to stay informed of external threats and how to mitigate them o reduce downtime.

To protect American manufacturing jobs and workers, CyManII, UT System and Port San Antonio will transform U.S. advanced manufacturing and make manufacturers more energy efficient, resilient and globally competitive against our nation’s adversaries and cyber threats. Under the leadership of TrustWorks-aaS, CyManII’s premier workforce development service, manufacturing leaders, employees, students, and innovators will receive skilled training curriculum to enhance their understanding of the newest tactics and information in cyber-attacks.

“U.S. workers are the heart of our manufacturing economy, but the skills needed to work in this industry are changing,” said Paris Stringfellow, CyManII Vice President for TrustWorks. “Energy-efficient digitization must be protected and it’s up to all employees to do their part. CyManII’s workforce development efforts are designed to address the unique requirements of cybersecurity in a manufacturing environment and will bring accessible, relevant and specialized training to workers across the country.”

Led by The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA), CyManII is funded by the DOE for five years to lead a consortium of member institutions in order to introduce a cybersecure energy-ROI that drives American manufacturers and supply chains to further adopt secure, energy-efficient approaches, ultimately securing and sustaining the nation’s leadership in global manufacturing competitiveness. It is funded by the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO) and co-managed with the Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security, and Emergency Response (CESER).

The Port is a public entity charged with the strategic redevelopment of the 1,900-acre site of the former Kelly Air Force Base. The property is a thriving technology innovation campus and home to over 80 employers and 15,000 workers. Among them are leading global and locally based names in aerospace, cybersecurity, robotics, applied technologies, space science and Department of Defense operations.

Activities on the campus generate more than $5.6 billion annually for the regional economy. To accelerate this momentum, in 2022 the organization will launch Tech Port Center + Arena: an innovation destination where an integrated museum, events arena, technology showroom, classrooms, and collaborative prototyping lab will host an array of activities that connect people with transformative opportunities in careers, education and entrepreneurship.

Innovation Center
The TxMx Hub will be located close to the Port's planned Innovation Center – providing City of San Antonio, CPS Energy and other cybersecurity experts a dynamic space to train and demonstrate new technologies that are protecting the region's critical infrastructure. (photo courtesy Port San Antonio/RVK Architects.)