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About us

The PETRAS National Centre of Excellence exists to ensure that technological advances in the Internet of Things (IoT) are developed and applied in consumer and business contexts, safely and securely. We do this by considering social and technical issues relating to the cybersecurity of IoT devices, systems and networks.


Recent exciting advances in technology and computing have led us to create a unique research expertise that includes a specialist focus on Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning at the ‘edge’ of the Internet. 

Our work is of direct relevance to the future prosperity and security of citizens in the UK and across the world. Society is increasingly relying on technologies such as the Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence to enhance our lifestyles, our goods and services; examples range from voice-controlled smart door locks for the home, to fully automated manufacturing and logistics systems.   

Finding potential solutions to prevent these attacks requires transdisciplinary research with a socio-technical perspective. For example, personal perceptions of the trustworthiness of new technologies embedded with the ability to take decisions on your behalf, will interact with, and be influenced by, regulation, standards and policy, as well as with design and engineering.  

Who are we?

We are a consortium of 24 research institutions and the world’s largest socio-technical research centre focused on the future implementation of the IoT.

PETRAS Director and Principal Investigator, Jeremy Watson leads the Centre and has held research and technical management roles across industry and universities, as well as senior leadership and advisory roles.  

PETRAS is not, however, about any one individual and key to the Centres success is our network of social and technical IoT experts working to deliver impactful research outcomes.  

The Centre is made up of 24 institutions, they are University College London, Imperial College London, University of Oxford, Lancaster University, University of Warwick, University of Southampton, Newcastle University, University of Nottingham, University of Bristol, Cardiff University, University of Edinburgh, University of Surrey, Coventry University, Northumbria University, Tate, University of Glasgow, Cranfield University, De Montfort University, Durham University, University of Manchester, Royal Holloway, University of London, University of Strathclyde, Keele University, and Loughborough University.

What we do

As the research wing of UKRI‘s Security of Digital Technologies at the Periphery (SDTaP) programme, we collaborate with academia, industry and government to deliver research that spans the physical and behavioural sciences. We consider the issues of Privacy, Ethics, Trust, Reliability, Acceptablity and Security as they relate to IoT devices, systems and networks.  


This analytical framework helps us investigate how to practically mitigate potential threats and take advantage of the huge benefits that the application of IoT, AI and Machine Learning technologies can bring.  

 As the research wing of SDTaP, we run open, national level funding calls which enable us to undertake cutting edge basic and applied research. We also support the early adoption of new technologies through close work with other members of the SDTaP programme, such as InnovateUK, supporting demonstrations of new technology and commercialisation processes. 

In addition, we build the capacity of the UK to remain a world leader in IoT through our training and development programmes for early career researchers. Finally, we offer consultancy services to the public and private sectors to provide decision makers with insight and advice on a range of cybersecurity related issues.