Schneider Electric, a global specialist in energy management and automation, has agreed to become a supporting member of the Cyber Resilient Energy Delivery Consortium (CREDC), a $28.1 million initiative funded by the U.S. Department of Energy that consists of 11 universities and national laboratories.
CREDC, led by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, is working to improve the resilience and security of the cyber networks that serve as the backbone of the infrastructure that delivers energy to the nation -- known as energy delivery systems (EDS) -- such as power grid and pipeline systems. In return for its support, Schneider will play an active role in identifying and selecting both mid-term and long-term research projects. The company will also have access to CREDC researchers and students, the latter of whom will graduate with expertise in a growing field.
"Schneider Electric has started an Open Innovation program with startup companies and universities to bring external ideas of innovation into the company,” said Prith Banerjee, Schneider executive vice president and chief technology officer. “As a global leader of energy management and automation, we are delighted to partner with UIUC on the topic of cyber-security, which is extremely important to our customers and partners."
CREDC will work with corporate partners like Schneider to further develop a pipeline through which foundational research will lead to applied research and development, which in turn will result in technology that is effective and affordable and can be implemented quickly in the field.
In addition to creating more advanced technology, the researchers will look at business aspects of cyber resiliency. A major impediment to more resilient systems is the cost of upgrading legacy equipment. Researchers will analyze the return on investment in new technology and design models that will help businesses choose the most cost-effective, high-impact solutions.
The consortium includes researchers from Argonne National Laboratory, Arizona State University, Dartmouth College, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Oregon State University, the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Rutgers University, Tennessee State University, the University of Houston, and Washington State University.
“Working together with Schneider Electric opens new doors for CREDC and new opportunities for the industry as a whole,” said Tim Yardley, associate director for technology at Illinois’ Information Trust Institute. “We’re glad for their support and look forward to furthering the relationship.”
About Schneider Electric
Schneider Electric is the global specialist in energy management and automation. With revenues of ~€27 billion in FY2015, our 160,000+ employees serve customers in over 100 countries, helping them to manage their energy and process in ways that are safe, reliable, efficient and sustainable. From the simplest of switches to complex operational systems, our technology, software and services improve the way our customers manage and automate their operations. Our connected technologies reshape industries, transform cities and enrich lives. At Schneider Electric, we call this Life Is On.