U.K.’s PETRAS research hub

Earlier this month, the U.K. government announced a new research initiative that brings together nine universities to study various aspects of the Internet of Things. The PETRAS (Privacy, Ethics, Trust, Reliability, Acceptability and Security) hub has a three-year, multidisciplinary research mandate. It’s led by University College London, and includes University of Oxford, University of Warwick, Lancaster University, University of Southampton, University of Surrey, University of Edinburgh and Cardiff University, as well as nearly 50 additional public and private-sector partners.

The U.K.’s Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council is contributing £9.8 million ($14 million) in grant money, which is matched by an additional £9.7 million ($13.8 million) from partner organizations. The participating universities will together put up another £4 million ($5.7 million).

PETRAS is part of the IoTUK program, which coordinates a variety of initiatives and investments around connected technology.

“The U.K. has the potential to be the world's most supportive environment for the development and deployment of a safe and secure Internet of Things,” said hub director Jeremy Watson in a statement. “Working with business, public, and third sectors will enable the PETRAS IoT Hub members to investigate questions of safety, security, privacy and trust within real life settings.”

Multidisciplinary teams spread across the member universities will focus on the intersections of technical and social science research. The first set of projects includes large-scale experiments at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park sporting venue, and investigations into how low-power body sensors, smart meters, and the day-to-day practices of individuals and businesses affect IoT security.

Related: IoTUK, Government and the IoT