University investing £19m in ‘once in a generation’ cyber security initiative

Lancaster University’s south campus at Bailrigg

Lancaster University has announced a ‘once in a generation’ £19m investment in cyber security services.

It will create almost 60 jobs and is linked to the development of the North West Cyber Corridor.

The Government’s new National Cyber Force is to be headquartered in Samlesbury and is expected to bring with it a £5bn boost for the region’s economy.

The move has led to the development of a North West Cyber Corridor from GCHQ’s facility in Manchester’s Albert Square, through Lancashire and beyond.

To support the region’s wider cyber security infrastructure, the university this year launched an innovative part-time Cyber Security Executive MBA, in partnership with cyber security consultancy Templar Executives, to support business leaders in decision-making around threats. For academic year 2022/2023, Lancaster is also launching three new undergraduate degrees specifically focusing on cyber security.

The new £19m Security and Protection Science at Lancaster initiative will help build on the university’s credentials as a world leader in this area. Lancaster is one of only a handful of universities in the UK whose education, research and training is recognised by the National Cyber Security Centre.

The university will employ 33 new cross-disciplinary academics to work on the initiative, plus 15 professor in practice roles and 10 support staff.

The project will also see a substantial investment in regenerating the south end of Lancaster’s Bailrigg Campus to create a state-of-the-art Data Cyber Quarter, which will generate exciting new partnership opportunities with the university.

Announcing the flagship programme, vice-chancellor Andy Schofield, said: “In the world in which we live today, the threat of cyber attacks is ubiquitous and can impact us all as we go about our work and family life.

“Lancaster’s approach to cyber security considers these challenges in a holistic way which goes beyond creating the technological solutions. By bringing together experts from a variety of academic disciplines, the university examines the sociological, psychological, economic, political and technological aspects of cyber security.

“This approach offers more robust solutions to the threats faced by the UK in the 21 st century.”

He added: “This is not just evident in our research and teaching, but also in our engagement with leading stakeholders in this area across the public, private and third sectors, who have real confidence in our position.”

“Security and Protection Science at Lancaster will embed this strength further and shows how committed we are to working with partners to create a vibrant and forward thinking research community, all striving to protect our way of life.”

The investment in a new Data Cyber Quarter will provide the cutting edge facilities and technology where leading academics can work on data and cyber-related projects. It will also offer business colocation space where partners can be part of a multi-skilled, multidisciplinary collaborative Security and Protection Science community.