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Academic Centres of Excellence in Cyber Security Research

Global uncertainties, ICT

The Academic Centres of Excellence in Cyber Security Research (ACE-CSRs) scheme is sponsored by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI), GCHQ, the Office of Cyber Security and Information Assurance (OCSIA) and Research Councils UK (RCUK).

It is one of a number of initiatives outlined in the UK Government’s National Cyber Security Strategy ‘Protecting and Promoting the UK in a Digital World’. The Strategy describes how Government is working with academia and industry to make the UK more resilient to cyber attacks.

The scheme aims to:

  • enhance the quality and scale of academic cyber security research and postgraduate training being undertaken in the UK;
  • make it easier for potential users of research to identify the best cyber security research and postgraduate training that the UK has to offer;
  • help to develop a shared vision and aims among the UK cyber security research community, inside and outside academia.

EPSRC and GCHQ have managed two annual calls to recognise ACE-CSRs, with a third initial round planned for 2013. There is no limit on the number of institutions which might receive recognition: it is the intention of the sponsors that all those universities which meet the criteria will be invited to join the scheme. ACE-CSRs are initially recognised up to 30 June 2017.

Eleven universities have been recognised in the first two rounds:

Each ACE-CSR is awarded a grant from EPSRC, giving them access to around £10000 each year to support a range of activities, in particular engagement with research users. The technical areas of activity covered by the scheme are given in the original call document./p>

2011 round assessment

An assessment panel was convened on 12-13 March 2012 to conduct the first round of evaluations. Its membership was:

  • Mr Stuart Aston, Microsoft
  • Mr Paddy Francis, Cassidian
  • Professor Steve Furber, University of Manchester (Chair)
  • Professor Nick Jennings, University of Southampton
  • Professor Fred Piper, retired, formerly Royal Holloway, University of London
  • Mr Martin Sadler, HP

Representatives of government departments with interests in cyber security were also members of the assessment panel.

2012 round assessment

An assessment panel was convened on 11 February 2013 to conduct the second round of evaluations. Its membership was:

  • Dr Robert Ghanea-Hercock, BT
  • Professor Chris Hankin, Imperial College (Chair)
  • Mr Paul King, Cisco Systems
  • Professor Keith Martin, Royal Holloway, University of London

Representatives of government departments with interests in cyber security were also members of the assessment panel.

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