An £38 million funding investment has been confirmed with Queens University Belfast, allowing for expansion at its Centre for Secure Information Technologies (CSIT).
Establishing it as a world-leading research and innovation hub for cyber security for Smart Cities and the Internet of Things, the £38 million expansion aims to enhance security in highly virtualised environments and connected devices, and to prevent personal information theft and fraud from laptops, smart phones and cloud storage.
Speaking during the fifth World Cyber Security Technology Research Summit, held at CSIT in Belfast, professor John McCanny, from CSIT, said: “This funding recognises how over the last five years we have successfully blended world class research and innovation to deliver economic impact nationally, internationally and regionally.
“In line with the goals of this global summit, the investment will allow us to further accelerate new value creation in this sector, drive business venture creation through our new pre-accelerator programme and build capacity for the industry by providing it with high calibre Masters and PhDs graduates.”
CSIT said it will use the investment to drive forward its own research programmes, support the creation of more businesses and jobs, and provide skills and training for the UK cyber security industry, including the creation of a nine-month pre-accelerator program for cyber security entrepreneurs. The centre plans to recruit 25 additional staff across engineering, research and commercial disciplines.
The latest phase of expansion of CSIT builds on its many successes since it was established five years ago. This work includes many collaborative research projects with its industrial partners, the creation and development of three cyber start-up businesses, and input into the creation of over 950 new high technology jobs in this sector since the centre launched in 2009.
Kevin Baughan, Innovate UK’s director of technology and innovation said; “CSIT has delivered significant UK economic growth through our original joint investment with EPSRC, contributing to over 950 new jobs in the Belfast cyber security cluster.
“By extending funding for a further five years, we underline our support for their commitment to raise the commercialisation bar even higher. This will help companies of all sizes grow through leveraging the excellent UK science base in cyber security.”