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Call for projects – Cyber Security

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17 November 2016

CENSIS, in partnership with its sister Innovation Centre, The Data Lab, is launching a sector specific call for projects targeting the Cyber Security services community in Scotland.

Rapid developments in technology are unlocking new areas of opportunity in all organisations and sectors, however this development is also enabling increased security threats and attacks. Implementing adequate cyber security systems to counter these threats is a serious issue and requires the continual development of novel and innovative security techniques to counter increasingly sophisticated cyber threats.

IoT expansion and interconnectivity provide increasing opportunities for cyber-attack with devices like drones, driverless cars and even military weaponry all subject to attack. Establishing cyber security policies and best practices provide organisations with a framework to manage cyber-attacks, however to implement these frameworks, businesses and organisations require new and innovative developments in Cyber Security.

In a survey of 100 business managers by BAE Systems 57% said that their organisations had received a cyber-attack in the past 12 months, costing companies an average of £300,000 (for one in 10 it cost up to £1m). In Scotland, cybercrime is estimated to cost the economy around £3 billion per year, affecting individuals, private sector and public sector organisations. (1)

Consequently, it’s no surprise that investment in Cyber Security is at an all-time high: in 2015 the global Cyber Security market was valued at $78 billion and is projected to be worth $120 billion by 2017. The UK market makes up a significant part of this and is currently worth well over $5 billion. (2)

Acknowledging this fact, The Data Lab, in conjunction with CENSIS, is launching a sector specific call for projects, targeting the Cyber Security services community in Scotland. We are looking for innovative and collaborative projects between an industry and/or public sector lead organisations, and one or more academic partners. Projects must demonstrate a clear economic or social benefit for Scotland, and focus on a Cyber Security solution, product or service.

Specific areas of interest include:

  1. Intrusion detection – using data science to monitor networks
  2. Blockchain – particularly methods of using the technology in public sector and private business
  3. Insider threat – data science methods of mitigating
  4. Malware analysis – methods of speeding up analysis and categorisation
  5. Data Science applications in the digital domain for Police and security services.
  6. Internet of things security – methods to secure IoT products with respect to various aspects including (but not limited to), secure booting, access control, device authentication, firewalling and firmware updates.

Martin Beaton, Cyber Security Network Integrator for Scotland notes:

“The information security industry is estimated to grow by £70 billion in the next 3 years yet due to the rate of evolution of the arms race between attackers and defenders many of the technologies for that market are yet to be invented. Scotland needs to innovate to take advantage of this massive market and data science will underpin many of the new products which is why it is fantastic that DataLab and CENSIS are running this call, bringing together fundamental science and industry.”

A variety of funding models are available for projects that meet the demonstrable criteria and applicants are advised that a closing date of 1 February 2017 has been set for applications.

For more information in the Cyber Security call for projects and how to apply, please email