Salford announced as University Partner in GCHQ initiative

Categories: School of Science, Engineering and Environment
  • GCHQ announces new university research partnership with four universities in North West 
  • Partnership will see GCHQ and universities publish joint research  
  • New collaboration aims to harness different perspectives from across academia to meet national security challenges 

The University of Salford is one of four universities that have joined together with GCHQ to create a “Security and Trust Partnership” in the North West that will see closer ties with academia.  

In a first for the intelligence, cyber and security agency, the new partnership will see GCHQ publish its own research jointly with the universities. Previously all research written by the intelligence services has been kept within national security circles only.  

The move signals a further move towards collaboration between GCHQ, academia and industry, as laid out in the Integrated Review. This partnership will allow research and knowledge related to national security issues to be shared more widely in order to help further the UK’s science capabilities, enabling faster innovation in a range of strategic areas including technology, behavioural sciences and criminology.  

This approach will allow the agency to tap into fresh perspectives from across the institutions, to bring creative thinking to national security priorities in order to enhance the safety, security and prosperity of British citizens.  

The institutions involved in the pilot partnership with GCHQ are the University of Salford, Lancaster University, the University of Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan University. The partnership will see GCHQ working with institutions holistically; based on their proximity rather than focus on a specific discipline.  

GCHQ’s Director General for Technology, Gav Smith said: “Working more collaboratively with key partners, like universities, is crucial for the future of the intelligence services. It allows us to combine the expertise and perspectives from across sectors to    innovate faster and more effectively to meet the challenge of an increasingly  complex set of national security challenge.” 

In addition to creating stronger links with universities, the agency hopes to attract a new, more diverse workforce by encouraging students from courses involving subjects like computer science, maths, behavioural science, criminology and linguistics to consider careers with the UK intelligence community. 

Karl Dayson, Pro-Vice Chancellor of Research and Enterprise at The University of Salford added: “We are delighted to be a part of this collaboration with GCHQ and our academic colleagues to provide impactful research in digital trust and data security issues.  Ensuring the security and resilience of our cities, systems and infrastructure is an ever growing challenge, by working together with our partners we will be able to capitalise on our shared knowledge to better address the challenges we face.    

“Digital technology is a key strategic priory of the University and we are proud to contribute our expertise in intelligence studies, cyber security, and AI together with our research on engaging communities as part of this partnership.  It is widely reported that there is a skills gap in this area with Salford being well placed to help address these issues supporting the region to become a digital hub.”





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