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Cyber Innovation Hub

26 June 2019

People at the official opening of the Cyber Innovation Hub

An Airbus innovation hub that builds partnerships to tackle cyber security has been launched in Newport.

Cardiff University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Colin Riordan, joined Economy and Transport Minister Ken Skates AM to mark the official opening of the Cyber Innovation Hub at the Airbus facility in Newport.

The centre, which will work closely with Cardiff University, hosts leading cyber security research initiatives, incubators, accelerators and academic research partnerships. Key areas of research include the protection of industrial control and safety critical systems, understanding the human factors of cyber security, and artificial intelligence and data analytics.

Professor Riordan said: “This is the latest exciting development in a longstanding relationship between Airbus, Welsh Government and Cardiff University. Welsh Government support is vital in fostering academic-industry alliances and R&D at scale. Research by Cardiff academics and students will be integral to the Hub. Knowledge exchange and collaboration is the hallmark of our relationship with Airbus.

“I’m particularly pleased by the fact that so many disciplines across the University are engaging with Airbus – we have past and present projects in physics, engineering, computer science and psychology – and that our relationship benefits students through guest lectures, placements and studentships.”

The Airbus partnership with Cardiff has grown from the single secondment of Professor Pete Burnap, School of Computer Science and Informatics, to Airbus three years ago. The University now has Dr Phil Morgan in place, plus funded PhD students and student placements. A Research Associate will soon be added to the team.

“Working collaboratively, the partnership has brought over £5M in investment to the Airbus Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Analytics at the University, enabling this relatively new area of research to develop into one where we lead the UK and Europe,” said Professor Riordan.

Professor Burnap added: “We have been recognised by the National Cyber Security Centre as one of their Academic Centres of Excellence, bringing our expertise in cyber security analytics to the UK Government’s strategy of making the country more resilient to cyber-attack.”

Cardiff launched the Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Analytics with Airbus and Welsh Government in 2017. A leading UK academic research unit for cyber security analytics, it is developing new ways of protecting corporate IT networks, intellectual property and critical national infrastructure from cyber attacks.

Dr Kevin Jones, Head of Airbus Cyber Innovation, said: “The launch of the Cyber Innovation Hub is further recognition of the strategic importance of the cybersecurity research and innovation programme for Airbus. It demonstrates the company’s commitment to cybersecurity and research into the protection of business and critical systems and recognises the value of the cyber security ecosystem in Wales.”

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