EPSRC announces call for £10 million for Internet of Things Hub

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A competition to develop a new £10 million Research Hub, that will explore the interdisciplinary challenges around security, privacy and trust in the Internet of Things (IoT), was opened today.

The Research Hub will combine a small number of leading universities. The funding for this activity will be led by the RCUK Digital Economy Theme, through the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), in conjunction with ESRC and AHRC. The research focus will be on the challenges associated with privacy, security and trust in the IoT, including the various interactions, policy and governance, beliefs and behaviours between people and the IoT systems.

The funding is part of an integrated £40 million, three year programme, which has been laid out by Government to maximise capabilities and opportunities that will help the UK become a leader in the Internet of Things.

The programme is a collaboration between the Digital Economy Unit (in DCMS), InnovateUK, the Digital Catapult, the Future Cities Catapult and EPSRC. Stretching from the research base towards feasibility and market, it will build on UK strengths in technology, security and design and accelerate the UK lead in the IoT.

Government Chief Scientific Adviser, Sir Mark Walport said: The Internet of Things has the potential to boost productivity, make transport more efficient, reduce our energy consumption and to make us healthier. The Research Hub will help to catalyse the technologies and address the challenges associated with the Internet of Things to make the UK a world leader. I would encourage universities to make the most of this opportunity.

Professor Philip Nelson, EPSRC's Chief Executive said: Our lives are becoming ever-more interconnected with digital devices and the internet. The potential benefits are wide, an exchange of information in an emergency could save time and lives. However, it is also clear that people have concerns about how their data is handled and kept secure so the Internet of Things Hub will address these challenges. Successful economies are economies that invest in science; this is an investment in the science of the future and will help deliver a successful and secure UK.

Notes for Editors:

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)

As the main funding agency for engineering and physical sciences research, our vision is for the UK to be the best place in the world to Research, Discover and Innovate.

By investing £800 million a year in research and postgraduate training, we are building the knowledge and skills base needed to address the scientific and technological challenges facing the nation. Our portfolio covers a vast range of fields from healthcare technologies to structural engineering, manufacturing to mathematics, advanced materials to chemistry. The research we fund has impact across all sectors. It provides a platform for future economic development in the UK and improvements for everyone's health, lifestyle and culture.

We work collectively with our partners and other Research Councils on issues of common concern via Research Councils UK.

The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)

The AHRC funds world-class research in a wide range of subjects: ancient history, modern dance, archaeology, digital content, philosophy, English literature, design, the creative and performing arts, and many more. Each year the AHRC spends approximately £98m to fund research and postgraduate training often in collaboration with partners. The quality and range of research supported by this investment of public funds provide considerable economic, social and cultural benefits to the UK.

The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)

The ESRC funds research into the big social and economic questions facing us today. We also develop and train the UK's future social scientists. Our research informs public policies and helps make businesses, voluntary bodies and other organisations more effective. Most importantly, it makes a real difference to all our lives. The ESRC is an independent organisation, established by Royal Charter in 1965, and funded mainly by the Government. In 2015 the ESRC celebrates its 50th anniversary.

Reference: PN 24-15

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Name: EPSRC Press Office
Telephone: 01793 444404