Global advanced technology systems company Thales is partnering with Cardiff University to develop cybersecurity solutions at the company’s ResilientWorks ’living laboratory.’
Thales and Welsh Government are creating a campus for cyber trust at the former steelworks site in Ebbw Vale, adding two new centres alongside the National Digital Exploitation Centre (NDEC) to create ResilientWorks.
Close cooperation between Thales and Cardiff will allow the company to exploit the University’s expertise in the Centre for Cyber Security Research and other leading research groups at the University, building on an established platform of existing work.
Lead academics, Professors Pete Burnap and Omer Rana , together with PhD researchers, will work closely with the team at the ResilientWorks Campus to help deliver an Energy Integration testbed and a Connected Autonomous Vehicle and Electric Vehicle testbed.
The activity will complement the existing secondment of Cardiff University cybersecurity lecturer, Dr Philipp Reinecke , to the NDEC as Academic Research Partner Lead.
Thales (Euronext Paris: HO) is a global leader in advanced technologies, investing in digital and "deep tech" innovations - connectivity, big data, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and quantum computing - to build a confident future crucial for the development of our societies. The Group provides its customers - businesses, organisations and governments - in the defense, aeronautics, space, transport, and digital identity and security domains with solutions, services and products that help them fulfil their critical role, consideration for the individual being the driving force behind all decisions.
Thales has 81,000 employees in 68 countries. In 2020 the Group generated sales of ¤17 billion.
Gareth Williams, VP, Secure Communications and Information Systems (SIX) , Thales, said: "Cardiff has an outstanding reputation for research expertise in cybersecurity. Our collaboration will help grow the importance of Ebbw Vale as a technology industry hub, giving the valleys a critical mass in cyber for critical infrastructure, attracting new work to the smaller companies of the South Wales cyber cluster and giving Wales a distinct identity in the international technology markets."
The campus will include research laboratories, a test track and model street complex. Organisations from startups to major international companies and governments will use ResilientWorks to test and develop trust in operational technology and key infrastructure for growth sectors in the economy and critical public services.
Professor Pete Burnap, Director of the Cardiff Centre for Cyber Security Research said: "We are delighted to be working with Thales at ResilientWorks, where Cardiff University’s cyber research expertise with help to give Wales a distinctive edge in the crucial resiliency of the cyber networks needed for autonomous vehicles to work safely and reliably, and across the generation, transmission, and storage of electricity."
Professor Omer Rana added: Cardiff University will contribute in two areas of research strength, focusing on cyber resilience and decarbonisation of transport, considering the overlap between transport (e.g. electric and autonomous vehicles) and energy systems."
The project is part of Welsh Government’s wider plans to build a new tech cluster in Blaenau Gwent. The £7m initiative will be jointly funded by Thales and the Welsh Government’s Tech Valleys programme with research contributed by Cardiff University.