Centres of Excellence for Cyber Security Research announced

Supplementary content information

Minister for the Cabinet Office Ben Gummer during his visit to Edinburgh University

Minister for the Cabinet Office Ben Gummer during his visit to Edinburgh University.

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) is investing more than £1 million to support 14 Academic Centres of Excellence in Cyber Security Research (ACEs-CSR) at universities across the UK.

Ben Gummer, Minister for the Cabinet Office, announced during a visit to the University of Edinburgh that the universities of Edinburgh and Warwick now have sufficient quality and scale in terms of relevant research and skills to be recognised as ACE-CSR for the first time.

EPSRC and the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) have worked together in partnership to identify the ACE-CSR, which will specialise in developing the latest cyber security techniques and contribute to the UK’s increased knowledge and capability in this field.

The ACE-CSR form part of the Government’s National Cyber Security Strategy, which is underpinned by £1.9 billion of investment and is designed to deter hostile action against the UK, defend against evolving cyber threats, and develop the cyber security industry.

The 14 universities selected from more than 20 applicants are:

  • University of Birmingham
  • University of Bristol
  • University of Cambridge
  • Lancaster University
  • Imperial College London
  • Royal Holloway University of London
  • University College London
  • Newcastle University
  • University of Oxford
  • Queen’s University Belfast
  • University of Southampton
  • University of Surrey
  • University of Warwick
  • University of Edinburgh

Each ACE-CSR was required to meet tough minimum standards:

  • a commitment from the university’s leadership team to support and invest in the university’s cyber security research capacity and capability;
  • a critical mass of academic staff engaged in leading-edge cyber security research;
  • a proven track record of publishing high-impact cyber security research in leading academic journals and conferences;
  • sustained funding from a variety of sources to ensure the continuing financial viability of the research team’s activities.

Each ACE-CSR is awarded a five-year grant from EPSRC to support a range of activities, in particular engagement with research users. The NCSC will also offer additional engagement and support, including the provision of doctoral studentships.

Ben Gummer, Minister for the Cabinet Office and Paymaster General, said: “This Government is determined to make the UK the safest place in the world to live, work and do business online.

That is why we need truly ground-breaking research to stay one step ahead of the growing threat of cyber attacks. By engaging with business, industry and academia, we will ensure that we develop the skills and research we need to tackle this growing threat to the UK.”

Grant details

Reference: PN 27-17