UK Launches £6m IoT Security Competition

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The UK government is claiming to have a £6m pot of cash set aside for the winners of a new IoT security competition.

The Technology Strategy Board, also known as Innovate UK, will only choose projects including an element of artificial intelligence or machine learning and those that have “a clear plan for commercialization.”

They must focus on at least one of: technologies to protect and recover data, intelligent control systems for buildings and smart home protection. Projects could also look at “complementary technologies” like 5G or blockchain, the government claimed.

The idea is apparently to encourage companies to collaborate with the research community to drive new ideas in IoT security.

The initiative is part of the UK Research and Innovation Strategic Priorities Fund, and can be seen as part of a wider push by the government to enhance the UK’s position as a world leader in cybersecurity.

It comes after a £70m investment announcement last week through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, focused on improving security-by-design, and a £30m pledge for the Ensuring the Security of Digital Technology at the Periphery program, to improve IoT security.

It’s unclear whether this latest announcement will be funded from the latter pot of money.

To encourage firms to get on board with the latest Innovate UK competition, the government said they could receive up to 70% off project costs, as long as they fall between the £2.5m-£4m range.

UK firms of any size can participate, working alongside public and private sector bodies as well as charities, but projects must include at least one academic partner and one SME. The competition is open from February 18, with the final deadline on May 1 2019.

Projects must start by December 1 2019 and can last between 18 and 24 months. Those that pass the written application stage will be invited to an interview panel between July 1-5 to present their ideas.

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