Israeli-U.S. consortium dishes out $12 million to protect critical infrastructure against cyberattacks
The consortium, led by the BIRD Foundation and Ben-Gurion University, will allocate funding toward developing new technologies for protecting infrastructure
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev launched the joint Israel-US consortium, ICRDE, on Wednesday to provide cyber-protection for critical energy facilities. The total investment in the program is estimated to reach $12 million, including funds from the participating institutions.
The frequency and scale of cyberattacks on energy facilities is rising, and many countries are seeking new and efficient methods for protecting critical resources such as water, electricity and gas, as well as the facilities that produce, dispense, and store energy. According to a 2020 report by the World Economic Forum, cyberattacks on critical infrastructure facilities rank fifth in terms of level and number of threats.
In addition, the climate crisis has also highlighted the need to recruit the most accomplished researchers to develop products and services to deal with the effects of climate change. In order to protect energy facilities, the consortium will promote projects focusing on all manufacturing stages, as well as storage and energy distribution, led by American and Israeli researchers.
Activities will be led by BGU alongside Arizona State University. Its other partners include the Georgia Institute of Technology, Nexant, Delek US, Duquesne Light Company, Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, the MITER corporation, Otorio, RAD, SIGA OT Solutions, Arava Power, DK Innovation, and Meptagon.
The BIRD Foundation is the Israel-U.S. Binational Industrial Research and Development group, which manages and operates the U.S.-Israel Energy Center, and has supported a wide range of projects without receiving equity or intellectual property rights. The Foundation provides up to 50% funding for certain projects, beginning with R&D through sales and marketing.
BGN Technologies is a technology transfer company of Ben-Gurion University, which brings technological innovations from lab to market, fostering research collaborations and entrepreneurship between students and companies. To date, BGN Technologies has established over 100 startup companies in the fields of biotech, high tech, and cleantech, and has initiated leading technology hubs, incubators, and accelerators.
“We congratulate BGU, Arizona State University and all the partners in the Israel-US consortium for winning this grant, which has led to launching several successful projects. We believe that the products of this collaboration between Israeli and American researchers will have a significant impact on the ongoing efforts against cyberthreats on energy infrastructure in both countries,” said Dr. Eitan Yudilevich, Executive Director of the BIRD Foundation.