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Manchester Uni to lead digital security network



A consortium led by the University of Manchester has been awarded £1.36 million by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council to establish a new digital security network.

The Security, Privacy, Identity and Trust Engagement NetworkPlus (SPRITE+) will bring together experts from academia, business and industry, government, and civil society to tackle existing and emerging challenges to trust and security in digital operations.

The network is scheduled to launch in September with funding for four years, and will provide funds for studies and pilot projects, as well as holding workshops and facilitating internships and staff exchanges.

It will be led by the University of Manchester’s Professor Emma Barrett, with Dr Stacey Conchie (Lancaster University), Professor Bill Lee (Imperial College London), Professor Vladimiro Sassone (University of Southampton), and Professor Sakir Sezer (Queen’s University Belfast).

Barrett commented: “This is an exciting and ambitious venture. SPRITE+ will harness outstanding UK research expertise in security, privacy, identity and trust to address priority challenges identified by and with stakeholders.

“Together, we will create new knowledge, deepen collaborations, and support the growth of interdisciplinary, stakeholder focused research for the benefit of our society and economy.”

Initial members

So far 11 organisations have signed up as project partners: BT, Nasdaq, Arm, Titan IC, Tiani Spirit, National Grid, LORCA, the Open Data Institute, South Korea’s Hanyang University, Greater Manchester Police, and the Office of HM Chief Scientific Advisor for National Security. Manchester University said it expects more to follow.

SPRITE+ is one of five NetworkPlus activities supported by UK Research and Innovation’s Digital Economy (DE) Theme, and is aligned to areas of trust, identity, privacy and security.

DE Theme activities address the challenge of how the novel design and use of digital technologies can contribute to an innovative, healthy economy and inclusive society. The NetworkPlus stream brings together interdisciplinary research communities and a variety of stakeholders to identify research opportunities and build collaborations, and fund a variety of activities including workshops, feasibility studies, secondments, and horizon scanning.

Image from GOV.UK, Open Government Licence v3.0

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