Cybersecurity grant funding available for WNY manufacturers

Western New York manufacturers can gain access to grant funding to strengthen their cybersecurity defenses through the New York Manufacturing Extension Partnership. Empire State Development’s Division of Science, Technology and Innovation provided more than $300,000 in funding to help manufacturing companies in Western New York and across the state protect themselves from rising cyber risks.


“Manufacturers are constantly juggling competing priorities—filling existing orders, adopting new technologies, training workers, and the list goes on. However, with hackers constantly targeting manufacturing firms to steal data and technology, cybersecurity has become an urgent need for companies that want to maintain a competitive edge and sustain their growth,” said Elena Garuc, FuzeHub executive director. “Thanks to NYSTAR, funding is available for manufacturers to review and strengthen their data security protocols.”


Updating cybersecurity systems is especially important for manufacturing companies that have contracts with the U.S. Department of Defense. The DOD recently adopted new standards that require contractors to implement cybersecurity measures that meet heightened specifications. That’s why the NY MEP has targeted this program specifically to companies with at least 30 percent of their revenues from DOD contracts.


In New York state alone, there are more than 1,600 manufacturers that are defense contractors. Adopting the DOD cybersecurity standards will help New York companies become more competitive for lucrative DOD contracts. Manufacturers interested in receiving cybersecurity assistance should visit


Three centers within the NY MEP network are administering the NYSTAR-supported cybersecurity program. FuzeHub, the statewide NY MEP center, is working with two regional NY MEP centers—the Advanced Institute for Manufacturing at Mohawk Valley Community College and the Manufacturing & Technology Enterprise Center—to execute the program statewide.


The NYSTAR grant, totaling $303,000, will fund cybersecurity assessments for dozens of manufacturers statewide in order to identify gaps between their existing protocols and the new DOD requirements for contractors. Following their assessments, manufacturers will be provided with action-items to implement. After completion, a letter of compliance will be presented to manufacturers, which verifies they meet DOD standards.


“By ensuring that members of New York state's manufacturing ecosystem are secure against the threat of cyberattacks, we are helping these companies meet federal standards while strengthening their own online defenses,” said Matt Watson, NYSTAR director.


The NY MEP, a network of 10 regional centers and one statewide center, helps small and mid-sized manufacturers gain access to resources, programs, industry experts and assets to become more competitive and grow. In 2017, the NY MEP delivered an impact of 5,433 new and retained jobs while generating $929 million in company cost-savings, new client investments and increased/retained sales.


About the New York Manufacturing Extension Partnership

The New York Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NY MEP) is a network of organizations that provide growth and innovation services to small and mid-sized manufacturers in every corner of the state to help them create and retain jobs, increase profits, and save time and money. NY MEP is part of the National Institute of Standards and Technology's Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership and is supported through a combination of federal and state funding.


The NY MEP assists companies by providing affordable services in the areas of technology acceleration, product development and prototyping, process improvements, innovation strategies, quality control, manufacturing scale-up, supply chain assistance, and new market strategies.


For more information on NY MEP, visit

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