In collaboration with its UK Government defence and national security partners, The Alan Turing Institute is launching a new defence and security applied research centre (ARC), initially supported by £3.5 million. The new ARC will focus on delivering real-world impact to enhance the security of the nation.
It will directly address policy needs and enable the UK’s security forces to draw on the very best of academia to achieve high impact solutions to the most pressing challenges in the field. The emphasis will be on delivering useable outputs - such as software code or demonstrators - aligned to practical and targeted research objectives.
The centre represents a new stage in the Turing’s development of translational research and builds on continued engagement with our defence and national security partners. One aim of this initiative is to prove and de-risk technology before it gets commercialised or adopted in the real world by SMEs and others.
There is major potential for the use of such tools (e.g. privacy-enhancing technologies) with applications across a wide array of sectors (e.g. from finance to health).
The Institute’s Programme Director for Defence and Security, Professor Mark Briers, said, “This is a new and exciting initiative aimed at complementing our existing research portfolio. The Defence and Security ARC will take the greatest innovations from around the world and apply them in the context of real-world security problems. This has the potential to revolutionise the defence and security community’s use of novel data science and artificial intelligence technologies and reduce the time to adoption, ultimately creating a safer environment for the national and international community.”
The Institute’s Director Sir Adrian Smith, said, “The new ARC is an exciting addition to the portfolio of activities at the Institute and a very important step in deepening our partnership with the government. It’s critical that we work together to strengthen national and international security by applying the latest research in the field.”
"Innovation in defence and security requires creative engagement with... the talent that a national institute such as the Turing can harness."
Professor Anthony Finkelstein, UK Government’s Chief Scientific Advisor for National Security
Professor Anthony Finkelstein, the UK Government’s Chief Scientific Advisor for National Security, commented, “Increasingly innovation in defence and security cannot be undertaken successfully behind a barbed wire fence. It requires creative engagement with the research base and the talent that a national institute such as the Turing can harness. The ARC will be able to move at pace and can explore emerging technologies in applications that directly help to keep the UK safe."
Evelina Gabasova Principal Research Data Scientist at The Alan Turing Institute said, “The Institute prides itself on transforming advanced research into practical, trustworthy tools. The data scientists and research software engineers in this new team will form part of our community of practice, delivering robust software and reliable analyses.”