Innovate UK Pledges Up To £4m For Security Research

Evil parliament (c) pisaphotography, Shutterstock 2014

The government agency is to spend millions to encourage industry research that can help build confidence in the security of Internet-enabled business

Innovate UK, the government’s technology strategy body, has issued a call for entries for up to £4m in funding for research projects that target Internet business security.

The agency said it is looking to deal with the millions that security breaches can cost large companies, as well as indirect costs such as loss of business, brand reputation and the wider effects on the country’s overall economy.

computer security

Innovate UK is looking to fund collaborative projects that focus on the “growing risks of disruption to Internet-enabled businesses and their digital supply chains”, it said.

“We want to identify and fund industrial research that will strengthen the protection and resilience of such data, so businesses and the public can have confidence in the delivery of digitally enabled business products and services,” Innovate UK stated.

Proposed projects must be collaborative and focused on business. The organisation said it expects to fund industrial research projects with the business partner receiving up to 50 percent funding for their costs, or 60 percent in the case of smaller businesses.

Projects are expectedto last from one to two years and to range in size from total costs of £150,000 to £750,000.

The competition will run from 23 March to 29 April of this year, during which time Innovate UK plans to stage briefings for potential applicants in Belfast, Cardiff, London and Edinburgh.

Security focus

Innovate UK, known as the Technology Strategy Board until August of last year, is a non-departmental public body that operates at arm’s length from the government, but reports to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

The government’s recent security efforts include last month’s commitment to team with US experts on cyber-attack simulations. Last summer the government announced a £1.1 billion spending package for the UK’s defence industries, which includes funding to tackle cyber crime and cyber terrorism.

The government is also, however, looking into ways of better penetrating users’ own security systems, with the Prime Minister last month calling for powers that would not only allow spies to gain access to data about the communications of suspects, but also the ability to crack the encryption used by many messaging services so they could view the actual content of these messages.

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