Industry involvement vital in creation of unique new Cyber-SHIP Lab

With funding from Research England, there are 18 commercial partners working alongside the University of Plymouth to bring it to fruition.

The Cyber-SHIP Lab was awarded funding by Research England (part of UK Research and Innovation) in November 2019, and will bring together a host of connected maritime systems currently found on an actual ship’s bridge.

Once the build phase of the project is complete, it will complement the University’s world-leading maritime facilities, and enable researchers to improve global shipping security while providing training for those working in the sector.

A key element of the project is its extensive collaboration with industry, and there are 18 commercial partners working alongside the University to bring it to fruition.

They include ship operators as well as companies involved in the supply of hardware and software, the construction of ship’s bridges and the training and management of personnel who work in the commercial shipping industry all over the world.

Professor Kevin Jones, Executive Dean for Science and Engineering and Principal Investigator for the Project, said:

“This project has the potential to be a real game changer for the shipping industry. Cyber-attacks are a Tier1 National UK threat and the need to protect our maritime operations has never been more crucial, or more challenging. As such, the industry involvement in this project is vital, as it is only by working with those in the sector that we can develop the solutions that can be applied in the real world.”

The Cyber-SHIP Lab has been funded for three years with a view to it then becoming self-sustaining, and will address a number of complex and interlinked issues affecting the maritime industry. It will take into account both technological and human behavioural aspects in order to effectively mitigate threats, especially considering the huge variation in vessel types.

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