CHICAGO – With the passage of the fiscal year (FY) 2021 Consolidated Appropriations Act at the end of 2020, MxD, the national digital manufacturing institute, secured $8.5 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Defense for 5G for manufacturing and cybersecurity for arsenal supply chains.
“The additional funding from DoD in 2021 will enable MxD to continue to bring advanced technologies to U.S. manufacturers and modernize the defense industrial base,” said MxD CEO Chandra Brown. “These goals are growing in urgency as the manufacturing sector innovates to be more resilient and agile during and after the pandemic.”
To support the DoD’s efforts to increase prototyping and experimentation of 5G technology, MxD will use part of the funding to establish a 5G manufacturing testbed for military and dual-use applications. This effort will leverage existing manufacturing innovation facilities with 5G installations to align with Department-wide technology priorities.
MxD plans to expand existing pilot programs to include a cybersecurity assessment and roadmap that can be scaled across the Army to protect manufacturing facilities, equipment, materiel, and information systems. This effort will support modernizing and enhancing cybersecurity efforts in manufacturing across America’s arsenals.
These additions in the most recent appropriations bill demonstrate strong congressional support for U.S. manufacturing, particularly from the Illinois delegation, as MxD executes the nation’s digital manufacturing priorities. Focused support for 5G and cybersecurity will allow the institute to address the pressing challenges during and post-pandemic related to health, safety, security, and economic competitiveness in the sector.
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