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Chancellor Milliken Remarks - Virtual Launch Cyber Manufacturing Innovation Institute (CyManII)

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Cyber Manufacturing Innovation Institute

Thank you, Howard (Grimes, CyManII CEO).  And congratulations to you, President Eighmy, and all of your colleagues at UT San Antonio.

CyManII has my enthusiastic support, and that of UT System Board of Regents.  Thank you all for being a part of it.

Thanks in particular to our outstanding national laboratories who got behind this effort early, and were a magnet for many of the partners that followed.  And, I want to add my thanks to the Texas congressional delegation, and all the public officials who endorsed CyManII.  Your support is – and will continue to be – important and much appreciated.

Being chosen by the Department of Energy to lead this effort is a tremendous accomplishment – a monumental and well-deserved win – for UTSA, which will only add to the momentum President Eighmy and his team have built.

But CyManII represents a win for so many other constituencies as well.  It will help drive security and prosperity for American manufacturing – and by extension, the entire United States.

It’s a big win for individual firms.  According to the Harvard Business Review, today 7 in 10 Fortune 500 CEO’s say they are running technology companies.  These companies include many the general public would consider “old economy.”  The amount of computing embedded in everything today is astonishing.  It makes products smarter, more efficient, and better – but as you all know, it creates vulnerabilities.  Customers understand this, and want to trust that their data and IP are safe.  CyManII, with its emphasis on securing manufacturing, automation, and the supply chain, is a big win for them.

With its national program for education and workforce development, CyManII is a big win for American workers.  With the advent of automation and artificial intelligence – combined with the rise of work from home and other changes driven by the global pandemic – there is plenty of uncertainty about the future of work, and what opportunities will be available for those launching careers in the decade, or decades to come.  While the economic landscape will continue to evolve, it’s hard to think of more fertile ground for growing jobs than protecting U.S. manufacturing from cyber threats.

Finally, as it develops new ways to drive both security and energy efficiency, CyManII will be a big win for everybody.  Consuming less energy will save companies money, boosting profits and creating job opportunities – and of course, it creates a lighter environmental footprint, great news for all of us interested in leaving a habitable planet for our children and grandchildren.

In addition to the great news for American manufacturers, customers, workers, and the planet, I think the CyManII may represent a template for meeting many of the grand challenges we face as a society.

Whether it’s defeating COVID, curing cancer, or fighting climate change, tackling our biggest challenges will require collaboration across networks of partners, constituents and stakeholders – all of whom trust that they can safely share their perspectives as well as their data.

Bringing together the best minds in academia, government, industry, and nonprofits isn’t just the best recipe for success – it may well be the only recipe for success.

So while I couldn’t be prouder that UTSA has been chosen to lead CyManII – and that role is important – as with all great endeavors, the success of this program will be all about execution with our partners.   We want to continue to attract the best partners – and I’ve found that the best way to attract great partners is to be a great partner.

The UT System believes in CyManII, is committed to its success, and to being the best partner possible.

Congratulations on today’s launch.  Here’s to a long, productive, and fruitful partnership.