Queens University Belfast has been honoured for its work in strengthening global cyber security and protecting billions of internet users around the world.
The universitys Centre for Secure Information Technologies (CSIT), a major hub for research and innovation in cyber security, has won a Queens Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education.
Innovate UK and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) are funders of CSIT, which is one of several specialist innovation and knowledge centres jointly funded by Innovate UK and research councils. The Centre, headed by its Director, Dr Godfrey Gaston, has a 90-strong team based at the Northern Ireland Science Park in Belfasts Titanic Quarter and has developed a number of breakthrough innovations, including:
- apps-based technology which will improve security for online financial transactions
- anti-counterfeit technology to prevent internet fraud
- processors to filter internet to homes and businesses, stripping out viruses, malware and malicious content
CSIT has helped to secure almost 1,000 cyber security-related jobs in Northern Ireland, injecting around 38 million a year into its economy.
Strong and resilient cyber security technologies
The award came only days after the Chancellor, George Osborne, pledged to increase spending on cyber security to 1.9 billion by 2020, recruit 1,900 new staff across the three intelligence agencies and establish the first National Cyber Centre. It will be home to the countrys first dedicated cyber force.
The universitys Vice-Chancellor, Professor Patrick Johnston, said:
The need for strong and resilient cyber security technologies has never been greater. CSIT is home to some of the worlds foremost cyber security experts. It is, and will continue to be, at the forefront of efforts to protect the UK from cyber attacks and to maintain the publics trust that their online privacy and data is kept safe.
Professor John McCanny, Principal Investigator at CSIT, added:
CSITs unique strength lies in its approach to the innovation and commercialisation of Queens ground-breaking research. It overlays an excellent academic research environment with an infrastructure that is more common in high-technology companies, creating a unique team of researchers, innovators and engineers that accelerates the translation of research into business.
The Queens Anniversary Prizes are part of the national honours system and recognise outstanding achievement by universities and colleges in the UK.