British companies challenged to develop technology to improve security of information systems

22 Mar 2010

The Technology Strategy Board is to invest up to £10 million in new research projects that will help accelerate the development and deployment of more secure and trustworthy information systems within Digital Britain and the wider global economy.

The aim of the Trusted Services competition for funding, which opens in May, is to encourage innovative British companies to develop tools, techniques and services that will target the increasing risks that consumers, businesses and public sector organisations face, while also providing significant market opportunities to build a strong capability base in the UK.

Explaining the background to the competition Andrew Tyrer, who leads the Technology Strategy Board's work on network security, said:

"When we do business face-to-face or on the phone, we can often sense when we can and cannot trust other people. When dealing with strangers, we usually know when we need to be cautious. But the electronic world of digital services has not yet developed ways to replicate our senses and warn us when things are not right. "This funding competition will seek innovative solutions for trusted and trustworthy tools, technologies and methodologies in both the public and private sectors, for use within the digital economy."

Working closely with other bodies in the area of trusted services, such as the Office of Cyber Security, Directgov, NHS Choices and Business Link, the Technology Strategy Board has identified the high-level challenges that the new research needs to address. These include increasing understanding of trusted and trustworthy digital systems, and subsequently improving their management, the formation of new (or expansion of existing) identity business services and the acceleration of their deployment to market.

Jayne Nickalls, Chief Executive Officer for Directgov, said:

"The digital era creates new manifestations of an age old problem - what and who can you trust? Solving this problem requires innovative thinking about how people and organisations co-operate through digital channels and how security technologies can be applied through devices that are convenient and easy-to-use. The Technology Strategy Board competition will facilitate innovation in this area and Directgov is pleased to support it."

The £10m to be invested in the R&D includes £2m from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and £300,000 from the Economic and Social Research Council. In addition to full-scale R&D projects that may take between 1 and 3 years to complete, the Technology Strategy Board is keen to receive applications from SMEs or micro companies for 'fast track' projects costing below £150,000 that will take up to 12 months to complete.

The announcement of the Trusted Services funding competition comes on the day that the Prime Minister set out the action the Government is taking to ensure that Britain is at the forefront of the next stage of the digital revolution, including ensuring that superfast broadband reaches every home in the UK by 2020. He also set out how the Government can save billions of pounds a year and improve public services at the same time, by using new digital opportunities to create innovation and personalisation in the delivery of public services.

An event explaining the competition challenge and scope in more detail will be held in London on 13 April 2010. Details of this event, agenda and how to register will be available shortly on the Technology Strategy Board website,

Media enquiries only should be addressed to the Technology Strategy Board's media relations consultant or manager (see below). Companies and other organisations seeking further information about this and other funding competitions should visit the competitions page of the Technology Strategy Board website -, email or phone the helpline on 0300 321 4357.

For full media alert including notes to editors, please follow this link

Issued by:
Nick Sheppard, Media Relations Consultant
Technology Strategy Board
Mobile : 07824 599644

Additional contact:
Claire Cunningham, Media Relations Manager
Technology Strategy Board
Tel: 01793 442901
Mobile: 07554 115745


Last updated on Tuesday 15 February 2011 at 10:01

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