Alan Turing Institute and GCHQ embark on Big Data research

The research centre is now open, and has found an extra £10m in funding

Alan turing

Big Data research hub The Alan Turing Institute has teamed up with GCHQ to improve the UK's cybersecurity and commercial data analysis credentials.

The 42 million government-backed institute has only been open a matter of days, but its relationship with the British spy agency hearkens back to the days of Turing himself, who was a codebreaker at Bletchley Park during World War Two.

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GCHQ director Robert Hannigan said: "GCHQ is delighted to be a partner of The Alan Turing Institute. We believe that the institute will allow GCHQ researchers, together with our counterparts in national security and defence in the public sector, to work with the best in the field, as well as providing the opportunity to share and develop our own techniques and ideas. This will help us meet the challenges set by the National Cyber Security Strategy."

Those challenges include building British skills to underpin cybersecurity objectives, such as fending off state-sponsored cyber attacks and cracking down on cyber crime.

Howard Covington, Chairman of The Alan Turing Institute, added: "GCHQ will support collaborative research on scientific matters of joint interest across a broad spectrum of possible applications.

"Through CESG, GCHQ's Information Security arm, they will also advise us on our own data and information risk policies and practices. Like us, they are committed to excellence in data science and to supporting the development of the next generation of data scientists."

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The institute also collected 10 million in funding from Lloyd's Register Foundation and will work with supercomputer company Cray, as well as the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, on exploiting the analytics capabilities of Britain's supercomputer, ARCHER.

Jo Johnson, minister for universities and science, said: "The Alan Turing Institute has set off on a speedy course to secure new lasting partnerships and bring together expertise from across the UK that will help secure our place as a world leader in areas like Big Data, computer science and advanced mathematics."

It has also appointed its first director, Professor Andrew Blake, who will join the institute in October.

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