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New cyber security research centre is launched in Bristol

Press release issued: 31 October 2012

A new centre to combat cyber attack is being launched today [31 October], putting Bristol at the forefront of research which will ensure the UK is one of the most secure places in the world to do business online. The Bristol Security Centre at the University of Bristol will not only be training the next generation of cyber experts but will also be playing a pivotal role in helping to make government, business and consumers more resilient to online attack.

The Bristol Security Centre at the University of Bristol will not only be training the next generation of cyber experts but will also be playing a pivotal role in helping to make government, business and consumers more resilient to online attack.

It was selected by GCHQ as an Academic Centre for Excellence in Cyber Security Research to support the government’s aims to protect the country from security threats and promote online business.

The UK has one of the largest online economies in the world, valued at £100 billion a year. Around six per cent of the UK’s GDP is generated by the internet and is set to grow – making it a larger sector than either utilities or agriculture – with the internet boom predicted to create 365,000 jobs over the next five years.

Important security issues will be discussed at the launch, with a series of short talks by industry leaders BAE Systems Detica, Hewlett-Packard and Trend Micro.

Professor Nigel Smart, who is leading the Academic Centre for Excellence in Cyber Security Research at Bristol University, said: "The launch is a celebration of both our research and teaching, which were recognised when GCHQ awarded us this status.

“It reaffirmed the University of Bristol’s position as a leading research institution in this area, which is of immense importance not just to business but also national security. We’re excited by the opportunities it will provide our students – they will not only be working on world-class research but also embarking on fulfilling career paths thanks to their experiences as part of the centre.”

The status of Academic Centre for Excellence in Cyber Security Research has been awarded to eight universities by GCHQ in partnership with the Research Councils’ Global Uncertainties Programme (RCUK) and the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS).

The centres will increase the number of top quality graduates in the field of cyber security, keeping up pace with technological change and driving up the level of innovation.

This will position the UK cyber research community as the pre-eminent environment in which to conduct leading-edge research and in turn attract the best academics and research students in the UK and from overseas. 

In return, Bristol University will receive a £50,000 capital investment from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and future funding opportunities. It will also play a part in formulating the future Cyber Security research agenda.

Further information

The Bristol Security Centre will bring together expertise from the Faculties of Engineering, Science, and Social Science and Law. The two main research groups contributing to the centre’s work are the Cryptography and Information Security Group and the Centre for Quantum Photonics.

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