The Digital Security by Design challenge is now twelve months on, and great progress has been made on the Academic Research programme funded by the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), that focuses on the concepts and practical application of Capability Hardware technology.
Leveraging the Capability Hardware
The competition was set out to utilise the technology, developed earlier in the DSbD programme, based on the Arm AArch64 architecture and adopts the concepts and approaches first investigated by the CHERI program (led by the University of Cambridge).
An interactive workshop was held for potential applicants to discuss the funding objectives and to enable the development of interactions and potential collaborations.
Submitted projects had to be aligned to fit within the overall DSbD vision and objectives for the ISCF Digital Security by Design challenge.
These EPSRC funded projects are managed by academics from across the UK, and each project PI has defined how they will utilise the DSbD to investigate and enhance capability hardware.
The academic research teams will build their solutions on the Arm Morello prototype microprocessor boards while utilising the University of Cambridge’s open-source CHERI reference software stack, (This includes the Cheri BSD operating system and application suite). Through the utilisation of the morello prototype processor and the software research from CHERI these research projects will address specific objectives within the scope of the Digital Security by Design challenge.
Winning applications were derived from Research Organisations across the UK and we are delighted to announce these nine ESPRC funded projects that are all now well underway:
These DSbD projects are funded until the end of March 2024.
By investing in this research, we are addressing the integrity and resilience of both hardware and software in response to the significant market need for cyber security; and we aim to overcome the market failures and radically update the foundation of the insecure digital computing infrastructure that underpins the entire economy.
We have committed £8 million of our £70 million government budget to drive this research, and these projects are only at an embryonic stage, but we will ensure the projects are delivered to plan, gain the deserved visibility and the findings are accessible to everyone in the global digital security community to support the enablement of more secure platforms.
This is a key phase in the development of the overall Digital Security by Design challenge and the impact of the learning and use cases will strengthen the foundations we have built in the UK to work towards our goal of making the UK the lead in securing digital computing infrastructure.
It’s going to be a fantastic challenge and I feel a real sense of pride in being involved in working with our partners to accelerate the move towards digital transformation of industry and supporting the UK to improve reliability of digital services and advancing global scaling to make us safer online.
The Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund Digital Security by Design Challenge is led by BEIS and delivered by UKRI.
Read more about this ISCF challenge DSbD.tech
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Author: Nuala Kilmartin – DSbD Innovation Lead