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Published: 17 March 2016

Surrey at heart of government technology consortium

The University has joined with other leading institutions to drive forward UK research into the Internet of Things.

The PETRAS consortium,  launched by Minister of State for Culture and the Digital Economy Ed Vaizey last month, is an interdisciplinary research hub aimed at maximising the economic and societal opportunities of the Internet of Things (IoT) - the emerging technology by which millions of mobile devices will become connected.

Surrey joins a prestigious list of UK universities in the consortium including UCL (leading the consortium), and Universities of Oxford, Warwick, Lancaster, Southampton, Edinburgh and Cardiff.

Lending its expertise in mobile communication technology (spearheaded by the 5G Innovation Centre), security and IoT, Surrey will drive two projects, one relating to privacy and security for connected autonomous cars and the other concerning security and key management for smart meter application.

The University’s 5G testbed – the only one of its kind in the UK – will also be employed not only by Surrey researchers but also other consortium partners.

Funding for the hub – over three years – includes a £9.8 million grant from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), which will be boosted by partner contributions to approximately £23 million in total.

Dr Haitham Cruickshank, who will lead the hub research at Surrey, said: “I believe the PETRAS project will enhance the University’s reputation in the area of cyber security research related to IoT systems, and also give Surrey the leading edge in research related to cyber security for connect ed autonomous cars and smart meters, as well as in energy internet areas.”

Professor Philip Nelson, EPSRC’s Chief Executive, said: “In the not too distant future almost all of our daily lives will be connected, in one way or another, to the digital world. Physical objects and devices will be able to interact with each other, ourselves, and the wider virtual world. But, before this can happen, there must be trust and confidence in how the Internet of Things works, its security and its resilience. By harnessing our world-leading research excellence this PETRAS research hub will accelerate IoT technology innovation and bring benefit to society and business.”

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