New legislation introduced in the House on April 21 aims to increase America’s expertise in the cybersecurity of energy infrastructure by authorizing Department of Energy (DoE) grants to expand education and training opportunities that are ” the convergence of cybersecurity and energy infrastructure”.
the Energy Cybersecurity Academic Leadership Program Act was introduced April 21 by Reps. Mike Carey, R-Ohio, and Deborah Ross, DN.C., “to address an increase in cybersecurity threats to energy infrastructure in the United States.”
The bill would, among other measures, create the DoE Grants Program to fund:
- “scholarships, fellowships, and R&D projects at colleges and universities to support graduate students studying” energy infrastructure security;
- “internship research experiences” for students and postdoctoral researchers in DoE National Laboratories; and
- Expand outreach to historically black colleges and universities, minority-serving institutions, and tribal colleges and universities.
The bill would require the secretary of energy to report to Congress on the implementation of the program within one year.
The size of the DoE’s proposed grant program was not immediately clear, and a copy of the bill was not available.
“Cyber threats to the U.S. energy sector have never been greater and need urgent action to protect the critical infrastructure that makes modern life possible,” Rep. Carey commented. “The creation of the University Energy Cybersecurity Leadership Program will strengthen our resilience by further developing a highly skilled workforce with energy-specific cybersecurity expertise,” he said.
“To address the growing cyber threats to our nation’s critical energy infrastructure, we need to make real investments in a strong and diverse workforce ready to meet any challenge,” said Rep. Ross.
“I am proud to represent a large part of the Research Triangle, home to institutions and universities that are driving our country’s innovation in cybersecurity and clean energy,” she said. “From NC State to Wake Tech, this legislation will better equip our brilliant students and researchers in North Carolina and beyond to deal with this changing cybersecurity landscape.”