Foster announces £4.4million for secure technologies centre


Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster today announced £4.4million of support for the Queen’s University Centre for Secure Information Technologies (CSIT).

CSIT is the UK’s lead university research centre for the development of technology to counter malicious cyber attacks. The centre is based at Queen’s Institute of Electronics, Communications and Information Technology (ECIT) in the Northern Ireland Science Park.

The Invest Northern Ireland support, which is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), will assist in the exploitation of security infrastructure research, by strengthening the centre’s ability to develop commercially viable projects. In addition, Invest NI’s support will help create 14 new engineering positions at the innovation and knowledge centre.

The centre aims to create the security infrastructure needed to safeguard the protection of personal information stored electronically, both at home and in the workplace.

Arlene Foster commented: "The global electronic security market is a vitally important and rapidly growing sector. The establishment of CSIT strategically positions Northern Ireland at the forefront of secure information technologies. The state-of-the-art facility combines some of the best that Northern Ireland can offer in terms of academic and commercial experience and has the ability to become a world-class research and innovation centre.

"Invest NI’s funding is focussed on supporting the commercialisation of CSIT’s new technological solutions. The engineers supported will target licensing opportunities and develop spin-out companies in order to exploit the full market potential of this valuable research."

Professor John McCanny, Director of ECIT added: "Today’s announcement is an important boost for CSIT, as it continues to deliver innovative solutions with global market opportunity. Our research initiative is of major national and international importance and has the potential to create tangible benefits for the Northern Ireland and the wider UK economy. Only a few days ago, the UK Cabinet Office announced that cybercrime is costing the UK £27billion per annum.

"This comprehensive and business-driven research programme builds upon established, global research links in areas such as data and network security, wireless security and intelligent surveillance. Our integrated approach helps to fuse top research capabilities with leading business development, market analysis and commercialisation skills. Invest NI’s support will play a vital role in helping us to accelerate the exploitation of secure information technology."