Home News UK universities awarded ‘Academic Centre of Excellence’ status in cyber security research

UK universities awarded ‘Academic Centre of Excellence’ status in cyber security research

by Brian Sims
Francis Maude: Minister for the Cabinet Office with responsibility for cyber security

Francis Maude: Minister for the Cabinet Office with responsibility for cyber security

Two further UK universities conducting world class research in the field of cyber security have been recognised as an ‘Academic Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Research’ by GCHQ in partnership with Research Councils UK (RCUK) and the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS).

Announced by Francis Maude, Minister for the Cabinet Office with responsibility for cyber security, The University of Kent and The University of Surrey now join eleven existing Academic Centres of Excellence in Cyber Security Research, bringing the total in the UK to 13.

These Centres of Excellence help make the UK Government, businesses and consumers more resilient to cyber attack by extending knowledge and enhancing skills in cyber security.

As Centres of Excellence, The University of Kent and The University of Surrey will help enhance the UK’s cyber knowledge base through original research and provide top quality graduates in the field of cyber security.

In addition, they will both be supporting GCHQ’s cyber defence mission and driving up the level of innovation in the UK.

All Centres of Excellence in Cyber Security Research also benefit from:

*Closer collaboration with GCHQ, the UK’s ‘Cyber Community’ and industry
*Partnership endorsement in associated publications and prospectuses
*Better understanding of Government and industrial cyber issues
*Helping to formulate the future cyber security research agenda

The scheme to recognise Academic Centres of Excellence in Cyber Security Research was the first in a number of initiatives outlined in ‘Protecting and Promoting the UK in a Digital World’, the Government’s National Cyber Security Strategy. This document describes how Government is working with academia and industry to make the UK more resilient to cyber attacks.

Development of necessary skills and knowledge

A GCHQ spokesperson commented: “We’re delighted that The University of Kent and The University of Surrey are joining the fold as Academic Centres of Excellence in Cyber Security Research. We look forward to them joining the rest of academia currently working to ensure the UK develops the skills and knowledge it needs in order to prosper in cyber space.”

The new Academic Centres of Excellence will be recognised for a period of two years. During this time, GCHQ will continue to encourage the universities to develop their capabilities in order to meet the stringent criteria for recognition. This will position the UK cyber research community as the pre-eminent environment in which to conduct leading-edge research and, in turn, help to attract the best academics and research students in the UK and from overseas.

The research conducted will support the drive for better cyber protection for the UK Government and enable businesses and consumers alike to safely benefit from the huge opportunities offered in cyber space.

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