New Internet of Things research hub launches

8 January 2016
Keri Allan
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A group of UK universities, with support from Government and industry, has launched an interdisciplinary research hub to drive forward UK research in the Internet of Things (IoT). 

The PETRAS hub is a consortium of nine universities led by UCL with Imperial College London, University of Oxford, University of Warwick, Lancaster University, University of Southampton, University of Surrey, University of Edinburgh and Cardiff University. Working together over the next three years to explore IoT related challenges such as privacy, ethics, trust and security, it will draw in support from over 47 industry and public sector partners.

Funding for the hub 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.

The project is part of IoTUK, an integrated £40 million, three-year, Government programme that seeks to advance the UK's global leadership in IoT and increase the adoption of high-quality IoT technologies and services throughout businesses and the public sector.

Initial hub projects include large-scale experiments at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park; the cybersecurity of low-power body sensors and implants; understanding how individuals and companies can increase IoT security through better day-to-day practices; and ensuring that connected smart meters are not a threat to home security.

Future projects will adapt and respond to new issues, trends and innovations, as and when they emerge.

“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,” notes EPSRC chief executive Professor Philip Nelson.

“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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