Queen’s University Belfast given £5 million to expand cyber security centre

Funding part of major £38 million, five-year expansion programme


The Centre for Secure Information Technology (CSIT) at Queen’s University Belfast has secured £5 million of funding to boost its research into cybersecurity, it has been announced.

The money from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and Innovate UK is part of a larger £38 million investment that will include work on smart cities and the Internet of Things.

Established in 2009, CSIT is one of 7 UK Innovation and Knowledge Centres (IKCs) and will use the money to expand its activities, including supporting cybersecurity spin-outs and partnerships with business.

Twenty-five additional staff will be recruited across a range of roles as well as a nine-month accelerator programme for security entrepreneurs.

“This further investment in CSIT recognises how over the last five years we have successfully blended world class research and innovation to deliver economic impact nationally, internationally and regionally,” said CSIT’s Professor John McCanny.

“This funding 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.”

In a separate announcement, the Government is to pilot a new GCHQ-run student sponsorship programme called Cyber First to provide funding of £4,000 each for up to 20 students taking STEM subjects, with a guaranteed offer of work at the end.

Copied from the Israeli Talpiot scheme, the scheme will be expanded in 2016.

“The world-leading young people we support through Cyber First will help protect the UK from the growing tide of cyber attacks and cyber crime. They will also play a part in GCHQ’s key role of keeping the UK at the forefront of the multi-billion pound global cyber security industry,” said GCHQ director, Robert Hannigan.

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