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UK launches National Centre of Excellence for IoT Systems Cybersecurity


As part of the UK Government’s wider initiative to become a world leader in tackling cyber threats, today the UK launches a National Centre to provide a step-change in research associated with the Internet of Things (IoT).

The PETRAS (privacy, ethics, trust, reliability, acceptability, and security) National Centre of Excellence for IoT Systems Cybersecurity will provide national capability enabling the UK to become a world-leader in IoT and associated systems security. Its research focus will be on the opportunities and threats that arise when Edge computing is deployed more widely in the economy and society: when Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning technologies move from being centralised systems to being run at the periphery of the internet and local IoT networks.

Professor David De Roure (Professor of e-Research, Department of Engineering Science) leads the University of Oxford's participation in the consortium. David is joined by human-computer interaction and privacy researcher Professor Max Van Kleek (Department of Computer Science) as PETRAS co-investigator, further developing a successful partnership which also includes Cyber Security Oxford.

Max Van Kleek comments, ‘It is both timely and important to see PETRAS continuing work on aspects of privacy, security, and resilience with a focus on computing at the periphery (a.k.a. "the edge"), due to the increased capabilities being embedded within the world--including within smarter infrastructure and transport systems, in the home, and the workplace. Associated with the tremendous challenges with keeping such systems secure and managed, edge computing also has the potential to bring this computation within users' reach and control, as it becomes situated within the physical and social contexts in which they live and work.’

Funded by UK Research and Innovation through the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) as part of the Securing Digital Technologies at the Periphery (SDTaP) programme,this second phase of PETRAS will strengthen an already established and successful platform which, since 2016, has coordinated and convened 11 universities and 110 industrial and government User Partners in cross-disciplinary collaboration. PETRAS has created a dynamic shared research agenda that addresses social and physical science challenges in equal measure and has worked across a broad range of Technology Readiness Levels.

PETRAS will manage a series of open academic funding calls throughout its lifetime, the first of which will be announced in summer 2019.

Professor De Roure also chairs the IET ‘Living in the Internet of Things’ conference taking place in May. He says, ‘It was a privilege to chair the inaugural conference in 2018, organised in collaboration with PETRAS, and we look forward to this year's conference in London on 1-2 May. Our theme is 'realising the socioeconomic benefits of an interconnected world' - this is the only IoT conference to bring together academia and industry, social and technical, horizontal and vertical.’

If you would like to get in touch with the PETRAS programme or be added to the mailing list, please contact

Register for the IET Living in the Internt of Things conference, May 2019

Twitter: @PETRASiot