On June 15, Abertay cyberQuarter, Scotland’s new home for cybersecurity research, opened at Abertay University. The £18 million hub was jointly funded by the University and the UK government (£5.7m) and the Scottish Government (£6m).

The centre, which operates over four floors, features open plan spaces, private office accommodation, seminar rooms for training and CPD delivery, an events space, an outdoor terrace, and a cinema/lecture theatre.

Students from Abertay University’s Ethical Hacking, Computing and Cybersecurity programmes will have access to the hub, while the cybersecurity arm of NHS NSS has announced it will also be locating at the cyberQuarter.

‘Creating new solutions to local, national and international cybersecurity challenges will be among the goals of Abertay cyberQuarter, which also aims to bring inclusive economic growth to the area by supporting the expansion of existing companies and helping new ones to succeed,’ the press release reads.

Specialist provision

The hub also boasts a secure cloud-computing infrastructure that will be used for ‘specialist online teaching and provision of R&D and knowledge exchange activities.’

Abertay University is the only Scottish institution to have received gold-level recognition as an Academic Centre for Excellence in Cyber Security Education from the National Cyber Security Centre.

The Twitter page for the cyberQuarter shared several pictures from the opening of the hub, and captioned them: ‘We’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who attended today’s official opening. It was great to see so many industry partners, staff & students.’

Landmark moment

Abertay University Principal, Professor Liz Bacon described the opening of the hub as ‘a landmark moment’ for the university. Bacon said that the hub will ‘help Scotland to retain the huge amount of graduate talent that comes out of Abertay’ and their partner institutions each year.

‘The growing use of online platforms, cloud computing and online shopping means cybersecurity is more important than ever. There were more than 400 cyberattacks in Scotland in 2020-21, and more than a million incidents of computer misuse are reported across the UK each year. Abertay was the first UK university to be awarded Academic Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Education by the UK Government’s National Cyber Security Centre,’ UK Government Minister for Scotland Iain Stewart said.