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Indian-American to lead US manufacturing ‘think-and-do’ tank

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New York: An Indian-American engineering professor will lead a US consortium to identify emerging advanced manufacturing technologies to enhance the country’s innovation ecosystem, manufacturing competitiveness and national security, the White House has announced.

Sridhar Kota, director of the Institute for Manufacturing Leadership at University of Michigan, will lead MForesight: The Alliance for Manufacturing Foresight, the White House said on Friday.

“‘Foresight’ is the key word. In this ‘think-and-do’ tank, we will identify emerging technologies early on so the nation can invest public and private sector dollars in a way that builds the infrastructure, knowledge and workforce skills needed to anchor manufacturing technology in this country,” Kota said.

“With collective access to over 30,000 subject matter experts across a wide range of industries, MForesight will serve as a continuous mechanism for research coordination across the public and private sectors,” he added.

The group will examine a broad range of technologies. It could, for example, investigate how to cost-effectively improve quality control in drug-making in order to reduce shortages in certain cancer medications.

It could explore how best to manufacture emerging platform technologies such as flexible electronics, which have a wide variety of applications in places like consumer goods, defence and even health care.

Technologies will be evaluated based on economic impact, job growth, likelihood of co-investment by the private sector, impact on multiple industry sectors, and the likelihood of the US gaining a first-mover advantage, among other criteria.

“Engineering and scientific advancements based on fundamental research have been the main drivers of US economic growth over the past half century,” said France Cordova, director, US National Science Foundation (NSF).

“Thanks to innovative technologies enabled by manufacturing research, production has grown at its fastest pace in more than a decade, creating significant economic value for the nation. To continue to reap these benefits, we must seek new research frontiers for manufacturing and pursue them for high-impact US manufacturing innovation and economic competitiveness,” Cordova noted.

Kota, a mechanical engineering professor and entrepreneur, served as assistant director for advanced manufacturing at the White House from 2009 to 2012.

He helped to create President Obama’s Advanced Manufacturing Partnership in 2011 and the Manufacturing Innovation Institutes in 2012.

The National Science Foundation and the US Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology are funding MForesight with a three-year, $5.8 million cooperative agreement.

(IANS)

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66% Indian Business Decision Makers Concerned About Cyber Threats

In line with this approach, 79 per cent of Indian business decision makers would want to adopt deeply-integrated or synchronised security solutions that could detect, investigate and respond to cyber threats

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Cyber Threats
Cyber security is a shared responsibility. While IT teams must be proactive in their response to Cyber Threats, knowledgeable employees and leadership teams pave the way for organisations to better detect, protect and respond. Pixabay

Sixty-six per cent of business decision makers in India believe lack of security expertise is a challenge for their organisations, while 63 per cent of Indian businesses are concerned about being exposed to Cyber Threats due to employee errors, according to a new report.

“As the threat landscape evolves, businesses too need to advance their defence mechanisms with synchronised security solutions that are designed to strengthen their cyber security posture,” Sunil Sharma, Managing Director, Sales, Sophos India and SAARC, said in a statement.

The success of an organisation’s cyber security investment lies not just in buying technology, but corporate culture, employee education and path-to-purchase also play critical roles, according to the Future of Cybersecurity in Asia Pacific and Japan-Culture, Efficiency, Awareness report.

“Cyber security is a shared responsibility. While IT teams must be proactive in their response to Cyber Threats, knowledgeable employees and leadership teams pave the way for organisations to better detect, protect and respond,” Sharma said.

Cyber Threats
Sixty-six per cent of business decision makers in India believe lack of security expertise is a challenge for their organisations, while 63 per cent of Indian businesses are concerned about being exposed to Cyber Threats due to employee errors. Pixabay

Only 19 per cent of Indian organisations regularly make significant changes to their cyber security approach, and 38 per cent intend to make changes to security approach in the next 6-24 months.

In line with this approach, 79 per cent of Indian business decision makers would want to adopt deeply-integrated or synchronised security solutions that could detect, investigate and respond to cyber threats, it added.

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According to global cyber security major Sophos, main triggers for security updates — beyond changes to overall security posture — are technology and product developments, compliance and regulation requirements, and growing awareness of new attacks. (IANS)