Khalifa University, Cassidian and Emiraje Systems have opened a Cyber Operations Centre of Excellence on the Campus of Khalifa University in Abu Dhabi. The new centre will focus on research of the security of industrial control systems which are critical for energy infrastructure, encryption and digital forensics.
The establishment of the Cyber Operations Centre of Excellence follows on from an agreement signed in 2010. As part of the agreement, Cassidian and Emiraje Systems committed to provide resources and equipment to Khalifa University to support the establishment and operation of the Centre, which in turn will encourage and support the development of intellectual property in the field of cyber operations at the University. The Centre will also enhance research capability in specified cyber technology areas including networking security, mobility security, cryptology, forensics, and embedded devices such as Industrial Control Systems (SCADA).
Prof. Tod Laursen, President of Khalifa University said: “The opening of the Cyber Operations Center of Excellence fits perfectly with Khalifa University’s strategic goal, which is building capacity to support Abu Dhabi’s vision 2030 to build a knowledge-based economy. Additionally, we have developed a number of academic programs and research initiatives that together work towards achieving that strategic goal.”
He also said: “Many of the academic programs that we offer, such as the Masters in Nuclear Engineering, the Masters in International and Civil Security, and the Masters in Information Security, will benefit from, and inform, the work of this center. This interaction is characteristic of the multidisciplinary research and teaching environment we are building at Khalifa. These programs, as well as our semiconductor research and development center, the Etisalat-BT Innovation Center and the Aerospace Research and Innovation Center are just a few examples of targeted industrially relevant activities we have created with partners in the recent past.”
Guy Meguer, Vice President Cassidian Cyber Security, said: “This second Centre re-emphasizes the commitment of Cassidian, with all of its long-standing specialist capabilities in cyber security, to assist the development of this activity within the UAE. As a major supplier of cyber solutions to governments in Europe, Cassidian is pleased to be able to continue working closely with Khalifa University on this project and to bring the best of breed security approaches for the benefit of the students. Any country using advanced digital communications systems needs to have a sound security posture which is underpinned by solid and capable academic research. The Centre will provide this essential underpinning which is important for any advanced economy. It is designed to permit intellectual property in the UAE by the effective transfer of knowledge to the country and its sharing with the wider international community.”
Emiraje Systems Managing Director, Abdulaziz Al Khaili, said: “The wider scope and capabilities of the new Abu Dhabi Cyber Operations Centre of Excellence is now extending those provided by the first Centre established in May 2011. This ongoing and fruitful partnership further demonstrates the active commitment of Cassidian, Emiraje’s shareholder and partner, in terms of transfer of knowledge and technologies to the Emirates. National expertise on such sensitive topics is key to secure the fast expanding information infrastructure of the UAE, whether for private ventures or for the Nation’s defence and security. The students who will successfully undergo those courses will be invaluable resources both for the Country development, and for Emiraje, whose given mission is to develop the sensitive Defence and Security Information Systems of the UAE, with the full technological support of Cassidian. Once again, I also want to salute the leading role of the venerable Khalifa University in the continuous progress of our education system.”