Press release

Israeli and UK academics to combat global cyber security threats

Francis Maude has announced joint working between Israeli and UK academics to combat global cyber security threats.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

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Francis Maude, Minister for the Cabinet Office with responsibility for cyber security, announced 3 UK-Israel academic collaboration ventures that will receive joint cyber research funding.

£1.2 million of joint funding will be used to fund a bilateral cyber research programme through the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

The successful joint UK and Israeli academic partnerships are:

All 3 UK academic institutions are part of the UK”s Academic Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Research programme which celebrates excellence in research in this field.

The projects will see UK and Israeli academics work together on six specific areas of research into the growing global cyber threat. These include:

  • identity management
  • governance: regulating cyber security
  • privacy assurance and perceptions
  • mobile and cloud security
  • human aspects of security or usable security
  • cryptography.

This builds on existing cooperation between the UK and Israel in the cyber security and digital fields. Israel is one of the founding members of the Digital 5 (D5) group of leading digital governments which met for the first time in London in December 2014.

The UK and Israel signed a Memorandum of Understanding on bilateral digital cooperation in March 2014.

Welcoming the announcement and the importance of strong international partnership and cooperation within the academic sector, Francis Maude, Minister for the Cabinet Office with responsibility for cyber security, said:

As part of our long-term economic plan this government wants Britain to be one of the safest places to do business and access services online. On a recent visit to Israel I saw for myself the strength of cyber and digital innovation and how it drives a thriving Israeli digital economy. Cyber security is a shared global threat and I’m pleased that we are deepening our research relationship. My congratulations go to the successful joint teams and I wish them well with their joint projects.

The importance of the academic and research sectors in cyberspace is vital. Professor Philip Nelson, Chief Executive of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, said:

The EPSRC has been working with the UK government to draw together the best academic talent in the field of cyber security. We are now bringing excellent researchers and facilities to bear on the challenges and opportunities that the cyberspace environment presents. We are ensuring individuals and organisations can operate safely, effectively and with confidence in the online world.

Notes for editors

Read details of the Letter of Intent.

See also the UK and Israel Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on digital government. It is also available in Hebrew

The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed at the Israeli Prime Minister’s office by Liam Maxwell, Government Chief Technology Officer, on behalf of the UK Government Digital Service (GDS), and by Harel Locker, Director-General of the Israeli Prime Minister’s office. The MoU states that the 2 countries will:

  • exchange information and experiences around open markets, open standards and open source
  • work together to make sure that each country has the capability and ability to develop digital public services
  • develop other ways of working together internationally

The UK hosted the first summit of a new global network called D5 on 9 to 10 December 2014. This is a group of some of the most digitally advanced governments in the world. The founding members are United Kingdom, South Korea, Estonia, Israel and New Zealand. It’s a forum to discuss and collaborate on how we can support our growing digital economies and learn from one another’s experience of digital government. Read the opening speech by Francis Maude, at the inaugural D5 summit hosted by the UK.

Francis Maude spoke to mark the third anniversary of the Cyber Security Strategy on 11 December 2014: ‘Keeping the UK safe in cyber space and National security’.

Published 24 March 2015