DarkMatter and Khalifa University Launch CyberSecurity Research Award

The initiative will give university students, graduate research assistants, and researchers the opportunity to win a grant worth US$1.5 million

DarkMatter Group, the region’s first and only fully integrated digital and cyber transformation firm, and Khalifa University of Science and Technology, have announced the launch of US$1.5 million Cyber Security Research Award (CRA) – an award focused on generating ideas that will safeguard the world’s smart cities against the cybersecurity threats of tomorrow.

In conjunction with strategic partner, Khalifa University, DarkMatter Group is inviting university students, graduate research assistants, researchers, and faculty from both local and international institutions to present ideas that could potentially advance the field of cybersecurity in the era of smart and digital cities.

The announcement came during a media roundtable that was organized at the Khalifa University Main Campus in Abu Dhabi and was attended by top officials from DarkMatter and Khalifa University.

“The sustainability of our smart city future depends on creative and robust cybersecurity infrastructure and solutions to combat rising threats within today’s digital landscape,” said Dr Shreekant Thakkar, Chief Scientist, Advanced Research of DarkMatter Group.

“With the unveiling of the Cyber Security Research Award (CRA), we are one step closer towards uncovering breakthrough solutions that will futureproof our connected, digitalized cities. At DarkMatter Group we encourage research and are proud to be fostering a collaborative ecosystem that will leverage the skills and expertise of private, public, and academic entities in a bid to create a safer, more secure society for all.”

Dr Arif Sultan Al Hammadi, Executive Vice-President, Khalifa University of Science and Technology, said: “We are delighted to partner with the DarkMatter Group to announce the launch of the CRA, as private and public sector collaboration with universities can be an effective tool for securing the key pillars of smart city infrastructure and services. Cybersecurity has come to remain one of the essential factors for today’s technology-driven world, and the UAE and the region place significant emphasis on the safety and security of the digital resources.”

“As a research-intensive academic institution, we are also keen to share the expertise and knowledge with our collaboration partners and we believe the CRA, a robust research award initiative, will set the foundation for a smarter, safer digital world,” Dr Al Hammadi added.

The Initiative Milestones

The pre-proposal stage of the CRA initiative is currently open to applicants, with submissions closing on 30 August 2019. Selected applicants will then be invited to present their ideas to the CRA stakeholders and committee who will assess the impact of contestants’ presentations.

Following this, shortlisted teams will be invited to submit full proposals in February 2020. All awards will be selected by a rigorous, three-stage merit review process, and announced in May 2020.

To identify which projects to support, the CRA committee will rely on a merit review process that incorporates consideration of both the technical aspects of a proposed project and its potential to contribute more broadly to the security of smart cities.

For more information on the CRA, the involved partners and the key milestones of this initiative, see https://researchawards.cyberweek.ae/.

Contestants of the CRA will showcase their poster talks for the committee to assess at HITB+CyberWeek UAE 2019, the new flagship event of Hack-in-the-Box (HITB), taking place in Abu Dhabi from 12-17 October. This premier event encourages the next generation of leading cybersecurity minds to explore and develop solutions that will solve cybersecurity problems of the future. For more info on HITB+CyberWeek, see https://cyberweek.ae/

News Writer
07 August 2019