CHICAGO (CBS) — A Chicago-based research and development group has received funding from the Department of Defense to create a new cybersecurity initiative for American manufacturers.

The Department of Defense has allocated $750,000 in seed money for the project at UI Labs, a tech innovation center led by the University of Illinois, at its Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute on Goose Island.

The money will be used to develop hands-on cybersecurity training programs that can be used by the institute’s more than 300 partners.

The goal is to secure manufacturing floors across the state of Illinois. Just as hackers try and invade personal laptops, experts say industrial enemies try to take over factory machines and robots.

U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley talked about former FBI director James Comey’s warning that the cyber threat is growing by the day.

“Congratulations on the partnership with DOD on cybersecurity. As a member of the House Select Committee on Intelligence, it is needed. These are going to be challenging times, and we’re going to have to partner with the public and private sector,” he said. “As Director Comey said, they will be back.”

The U.S. is by far the number one target of cyber criminals, accounting for close to half of the targeted manufacturers.

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