The University of Kent has achieved accreditation from the government as an Academic Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Research (ACE-CSR), joining 14 other such Centres in the United Kingdom.
The Kent Interdisciplinary Research Centre in Cyber Security (KIRCCS) was established in 2012 to focus and showcase research in this area, particularly the promotion of interdisciplinary research across different disciplines. It currently has 14 academics from the Universities’ School of Engineering and Digital Arts and School of Computing as core members, with a further 30 academics from 10 different Schools as Associate Members. In addition to its research activities in cyber security, it also conducts a wide range of technical and interdisciplinary activity in enterprise and innovation, teaching support and public engagement. Gareth Howells, Professor of Secure Electronic Systems in the School of Engineering and Digital Arts is the Deputy Director of the Kent Interdisciplinary Research Centre in Cyber Security and commented: “We are absolutely delighted to have been given the ACE-CSR status which acknowledges our pioneering work and excellence in cyber security research and evidences our long track-record of expertise”.
The announcement, made by the Department for Culture, Media and Sports, comes in recognition of Kent’s first rate research in terms of both scale and impact. The University will now have the opportunity to bid for funding to develop cutting-edge research in cyber security, including at Doctoral levels, as well as attend annual conferences and workshops organised by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC).
The scheme also aims to create a better understanding of the strength of the UK’s academic capability in cyber security and identify areas where there are research opportunities or technical gaps. It makes collaboration between academia, business and government easier, and helps make sure cutting-edge research is turned into practical products and services. This includes developing tools to tackle mass marketing fraud online and better understand cyber criminals.
Kent, along with King’s College London and Cardiff University, joins 14 other institutions in a scheme forming part of the Government’s National Cyber Security Strategy, which aims to make the UK the safest place to be online and also help to support the country’s digital economy.
Minister for Digital Margot James said:’These universities are doing fantastic research in cyber security and they are rightly being recognised for their pioneering work.
‘We have some of the best minds in the world working in the field and thanks to this scheme they can now help shape our National Cyber Security Strategy and develop the talent and services of tomorrow.’
Chris Ensor, Deputy Director for Cyber Security Skills and Growth at the NCSC, said: ‘The UK has world-class universities carrying out cutting edge research into all areas of cyber security.
‘It’s fantastic to see three more universities recognised as Academic Centres of Excellence and I’m especially pleased that we now have centres in all home nations. The NCSC looks forward to collaborating with these institutions to make the UK the safest place to live and work online.’