PETRAS announces sixteen research projects


Research collaboration and activities to tackle issues concerning cybersecurity at the edge of the internet.


The PETRAS National Centre of Excellence for IoT Systems Cybersecurity announces sixteen research projects supporting collaboration and activities to tackle issues concerning cybersecurity at the edge of the internet.

Since 2016, PETRAS has been a nexus for research institutions and organisations in the public and private domains, culminating in world leading research excellence. The sixteen projects, funded through the PETRAS Opportunities Fund Call, aim to build on that legacy by providing a range of opportunities to strengthen and diversify the outputs and benefits coming out of the Centre.

For example, the BECL project led by Dr. Saheli Datta Burton at UCL and in collaboration with DCMS, supports the government’s Code of Practice for Consumer IoT devices (CoP) and will lead to a greater understanding of the global and regional impact of the internationalisation of standards.

The DTCEM project is led by Gregory Epiphaniou at the University of Warwick in collaboration with Manchester Metropolitan University, BlueSkyTec and Schneider Electric. It looks at investigating the scale and complexity needed to approach cyber resilience in IoT- enabled critical national infrastructure (CNI) through cyber modelling and simulation using digital twins (DT). Recent changes to the volume and velocity of information have necessitated a strong coupling of physical and cyber components, often referred to as cyber-physical systems (CPS). These CPS components are subject to technical and operational requirements, from policy to implementation, that determines their ability to maintain resilient operations under disruption.

In collaboration with BBC R&D, the ET project , led by Dr Adrian Gradinar at Lancaster University, aims to improve the acceptability and adoption of more secure and sustainable IoT devices and systems. With the number of active IoT devices expected to double in 2020-2025 comes more opportunities for human and machine actors to carry out cyber attacks on devices and systems, leading to an increase in both the volume of datafication generated and the amount of energy consumed by the IoT.

Looking at cybersecurity in the music production domain, the EXIoT project led Dr Alan Chamberlain at the University of Nottingham explores the technical, security and social issues surrounding the IoT throughout the music production cycle, from composition to performance.

Focussed on developing new policies for transparent and ethical deployment of secure IoT sensors in public spaces, the P-PITEE project led by Dr Naomi Jacobs at Lancaster University, aims to help local governments who need to account for practical, technical and ethical considerations when using IoT sensors in public spaces and when managing proposals for installation and use by others.

Due to the numbers of wirelessly connected devices increasing, cyber attacks and congestion in the Radio Frequency (RF) spectrum can cause serious issues for mission-critical communications for UK Government departments. Being able to identify and classify IoT signals can improve both cybersecurity and communications efficiencies. The SDRIOTSS project led by Dr Matthew Ritchie at UCL therefore aims to improve communications in the RF spectrum by capturing IoT signals and classifying which signals are present in congested and contested RF environments.

One final example looks at how the convergence of IoT and cyber physical (CPS) systems has created a need for effective methods to manage trade-offs between cybersecurity and safety measures that are inter-dependent and often complementing or conflicting. Assuring cybersecurity can introduce unintended safety consequences and vice versa. The TOMSAC project, led by Dr Giedre Sabaliauskaite at Coventry University aims to answer some of these issues through novel and effective solutions for managing these trade-offs.

Find a list of all 16 PETRAS Opportunities Fund projects below with links to the individual project pages for more detailed information:

Building Evidence base for CoP Legislation (BECL), Dr. Saheli Datta Burton, University College London

Bridging the gap between legal and technical anonymisation (BLATA), Dr Yves-Alexandre de Montjoye, Imperial College London

Digital Twins in Cyber Effects Modelling of IoT/CPS Points of Low Resilience (DTCEM), Dr Gregory Epiphaniou, University of Warwick

Edge of Tomorrow: Understanding the Impacts of IoT Cybersecurity and Datafication to Co-design a Sustainable Edge (ET), Dr Adrian Gradinar, Lancaster University

New forms of Public Value at the Edge: Designing for HDI and Trust in Media IoT Futures (eValuatE), Professor Derek McAuley, University of Nottingham

Experimental IoT: Explorations in Sound Art and Technology (EXIoT), Dr Alan Chamberlain, University of Nottingham

Integrated Cyber-Secure Edge Computing (ICEC), Professor David De Roure, University of Oxford

Improving the Security of Centralised Transport Infrastructure Efficiency System (ISCTIES), Professor Jeremy Watson CBE, University College London

The PETRAS Data Sharing Foundation: Building a Trustworthy Data Sharing Ecology for IoT Data Assets (PETRAS-DSF), Professor Dame Wendy Hall, University of Southampton

Participatory Policies for IoT (at the Edge) Ethics (P-PITEE), Dr Naomi Jacobs, Lancaster University

Positional Referencing for IoT at the Edge (PRIoTE), Professor Tim Watson, University of Warwick

Understanding disruptive powers of IoT in the energy sector (Power2), Professor Awais Rashid, University of Bristol

Resilient Built Environments (ResBE), Dr Charith Perera, Cardiff University

Software Defined Receiver IoT Speclinktrum Survey (SDRIOTSS), Dr Matthew Ritchie, University College London

Secure Ontologies for IoT Systems (SOfIoTS), Professor Jeremy Watson CBE, University College London

Trade-off Management between Safety and Cybersecurity (TOMSAC), Dr Giedre Sabaliauskaite, Coventry University

Notes to Editors

About PETRAS & the Opportunities Fund Call

  • PETRAS is part of the Securing Digital Technologies at the Periphery (SDTaP) programme funded by UKRI’s Strategic Priorities Fund.
  • The 16 projects will be awarded over £1.1m through PETRAS’s Opportunities Fund Call.
  • PETRAS exists to ensure that technological advances in the IoT and associated systems at the Edge of the internet are safely and securely developed and applied in private and public sector contexts. We do this by considering social and technical issues relating to the cybersecurity of IoT devices, systems and networks.
  • PETRAS is a consortium that connects sixteen research institutions with outstanding expertise in securing the connected world. They are UCL, 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 and University of Surrey, Coventry University, Northumbria University, Tate and University of Glasgow.

About UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and Securing Digital Technologies at the Periphery’ (SDTaP)

  • UKRI is a non-departmental government body which works in partnership with universities, research organisations, businesses, charities, and government to create the best possible environment for research and innovation to flourish. They aim to maximise the contribution of each of their component parts, working individually and collectively. They work with their many partners to benefit everyone through knowledge, talent and ideas.
  • The £30.55m SDTaP programme is funded by UKRI’s Strategic Priorities Fund and lead by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. The programme aims to ensure that the IoT systems are safe and secure, particularly as more critical applications emerge meaning there is increased vulnerability to broader, more sophisticated cyber-threats.