Home Cyber GCHQ outlines detail of joint research partnership with The Alan Turing Institute

GCHQ outlines detail of joint research partnership with The Alan Turing Institute

by Brian Sims
An aerial image of the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire

An aerial image of the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire

GCHQ is about to embark on a joint research partnership with The Alan Turing Institute focusing on open access and commercial data analysis methods. The two organisations have agreed in principle to work together with the wider national security community for the benefit of data science and analytics research in the UK.

Both institutions have a mission to inform policy, propagate Best Practice and catalyse the next generation of ideas and methods for the use of big data. They’ve now agreed to co-operate on training and research in data-analytical methods that may be applied in open access and commercial environments.

Established as the UK National Institute for Data Sciences, The Alan Turing Institute is a new joint venture between the Universities of Cambridge, Edinburgh, Oxford, UCL, Warwick and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

Headquartered at The British Library, the Institute will promote the development and use of advanced mathematics, computer science, algorithms and big data for ‘human benefit’. It will attract the best data scientists and mathematicians from the UK and across the globe to “break new boundaries” in terms of how we use big data in what’s now very much a fast-moving and competitive world.

GCHQ’s director Robert Hannigan commented: “GCHQ is delighted to be a partner of The Alan Turing Institute and have the opportunity to help maintain Alan Turing’s legacy for generations to come. Turing spent much of his life working with data, both during and after the Second World War, and it’s a fitting tribute that his name is associated with an Institute that will dedicate itself to becoming the world leader in the analysis and application of big data and algorithm research.”

Robert Hannigan: director of GCHQ

Robert Hannigan: director of GCHQ

Hannigan added: “We believe that The Alan Turing Institute will allow GCHQ researchers together with our counterparts in national security and defence in the public sector to work with the very best professionals in the field, as well as providing the opportunity to share and develop our own techniques and ideas across a broad array of sectors. This will assist us in meeting the challenges set by the National Cyber Security Strategy.”

Howard Covington, chairman of The Alan Turing Institute, responded: “We’re delighted to announce our relationship with GCHQ and the broader defence community. This takes us another step forward when it comes to building a network of strategic partners. GCHQ will support collaborative research on scientific matters of joint interest across a broad spectrum of possible applications. Through its Information Security arm CESG, GCHQ will also advise us on our own data and information risk policies and practices. Like ourselves, GCHQ is fully committed to excellence in data science and actively supporting development of the next generation of data scientists. This announcement is great news for The Alan Turing Institute and for the UK in general.”

*Further information on The Alan Turing Institute

Fulbright Cyber Security Awards 2016-2017 open for entries 

The US-UK Fulbright Commission is now accepting applications for its all-new Cyber Security Awards.

During Prime Minister David Cameron’s US visit back in January, the two Governments announced the Fulbright Cyber Security Awards as one of the measures designed to increase US-UK cyber security co-operation.

The Cabinet Office will now enable UK experts in cyber security to conduct research at any US institution for three-to-six months. Both Governments have agreed to support and fund these new awards.

The awards scheme will enable some of the brightest academic or professional experts to research cyber security in the US. It gives them three-to-six months to conduct research, pursue professional development and/or assess Best Practice at any US institution. Their research outputs should benefit the larger cyber security community.

The exchange programme will bring together world class cyber security researchers, building networks and encouraging collaboration between American and British universities.

Matthew Hancock MP: Minister for the Cabinet Office

Matthew Hancock MP: Minister for the Cabinet Office

In exchange for being hosted at an American institution, Fulbright cyber scholars will speak to students and faculty about UK cyber security policy and practice.

Penny Egan CBE, executive director of the US-UK Fulbright Commission, said: “I’m so proud that the US-UK Fulbright Commission could respond so rapidly and run with a new idea that is central to the crucial goal of global security. The US-UK collaboration on this new programme will make a significant contribution to securing all our futures.”

Matthew Hancock, Minister for the Cabinet Office, added: “The UK and the US take cyber security very seriously. Training up the next generation of ‘cyber defenders’ with the launch of the new Fulbright Cyber Security Award encourages future talent on both sides of the Atlantic. This announcement also delivers on the Prime Minister’s and President Obama’s joint commitment to work together on defending our critical sectors such as energy, transport and financial infrastructure from present and future cyber threats.”

*Applications are now open for the Fulbright Cyber Security Award. The first cohort will take up their awards in the 2016-2017 academic year

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