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REGIONAL MEP CENTERS ANNOUNCE $1M IN FEDERAL FUNDING FOR ENHANCEMENT OF THE MEP NATIONAL NETWORK CYBERSECURITY PROGRAM

Federal funding available to help the Mid-Atlantic region and beyond to act as a catalyst for strengthening American manufacturing through cyber awareness and preparedness.  

GENEDGE Alliance (GENEDGE), the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) Center in Virginia, will lead a new regional program to ensure small and medium-sized manufacturers (SMMs) have access to consistent, trustworthy cybersecurity expertise and resources. With support from the MEP Centers in Maryland (MD MEP) and Connecticut (CONNSTEP), the program will support the MEP National Network’s effort to develop nationwide cybersecurity best practices for manufacturers who need to stay both protected against increasing threats and compliant with new federal regulations. Together, GENEDGE, MD MEP, and CONNSTEP will provide cybersecurity services to Department of Defense (DoD) supply chain manufacturers in New England, the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast regions of the U.S., establishing a model that can be replicated nationwide. Work will be done cooperatively with MEP centers in each state. The project is funded with $1,000,000 through the U.S. Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) MEP.


About the Program

GENEDGE and our MEP partners are fully committed to ensure the success of this new program,” said Bill Donohue, GENEDGE President and Executive Director. “With this opportunity, we will develop a regionally deployed model, replicated across our country assuring that the MEP National Network will continue to grow as the leader in cybersecurity implementation services for America’s manufacturers.”

The program will identify MEP Centers as Go-To Collaborative Centers with advanced cybersecurity capabilities and capacity to assist other centers in the region. The network will establish a presence in key states with large populations of SMMs participating in the DoD supply chain. The cybersecurity offerings will prepare SMMs to meet evolving DoD cybersecurity requirements, particularly preparation for the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC). CMMC is a unified standard for implementing cybersecurity across the Defense Industrial Base (DIB), which includes over 300,000 companies in the supply chain.

“Every U.S. manufacturer needs to be concerned with cybersecurity if they expect to remain competitive in the marketplace, especially when it comes to maintaining and securing new business with the federal government. This is especially important for defense contractors as they navigate the new requirements of CMMC,” said Michael Kelleher, Executive Director, MD MEP. “Since 2018, we have worked closely with manufacturers throughout Maryland to help assess their cybersecurity capabilities, identify gaps, and provided resources, technical assistance and funds to upgrade their practices. As a new Go-To Center for our region, we look forward to sharing our expertise with manufacturers in our neighboring states and partnering with GENEDGE to establish a new national standard for cybersecurity services provided by MEP centers.” 


About the Management and Delivery 

GENEDGE and MD MEP will be the foundational Go-To-Centers to direct and manage the collaborative, while CONNSTEP will function as a supporting satellite center. Each will be responsible for serving designated groups of other MEP centers within the Eastern Region. 

The Eastern Region has been divided into four (4) sub-regions (I, II, III and IV): Sub-regions 1 and 2 – Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, New York, New Jersey; Sub-region 3 – Maryland, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Delaware; Sub-region 4 – Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, and Puerto Rico.