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Cranfield University to lead national security academic network

10 September 2019

Cranfield University is taking the lead for the Academic Resilience and Security Community (A-RiSC), a network of 30 UK universities formed to help government and industry access academic experts and the latest research and knowledge in national security.

Route to national security expertise

A-RiSC was established in 2014 to encourage greater academic involvement in research which aims to solve challenges in national security. It is recognised by the Home Office, other government departments and by industry as an important conduit to expertise in this field and has been chaired to date by Imperial College London.

The network was created to follow the success of the Security and Resilience Industry Suppliers Community (RISC), an alliance of trade associations and bodies which represent the UK’s security and resilience sector. As part of the chairmanship of the A-RiSC group, Cranfield University will participate in RISC, chaired by Sir Kevin Tebbit, and the Security and Resilience Growth Partnership (SRGP) jointly chaired by the Home Office Security Minister and Chair of RISC.

Sir Kevin Tebbit said: “Solving the challenges to national security requires the combined and integrated effort of Government, industry and academia. So it is good news that in Cranfield University, with its world-class capabilities, we have a fitting successor to Imperial College London to lead the vital academic input.”

Cranfield a natural choice to lead A-RiSC

Dr Simon Harwood, Director of Defence and Security at Cranfield University, will lead the A-RiSC network with Professor Andrew Shortland and said: “I’m looking forward to working with universities across the UK to co-ordinate academia’s role in national security. I encourage other academic institutions to join us, it is an open network and a vital way for us to advise government and industry.”

Richard Alcock, Chief Operating Officer for the Office for Security and Counter Terrorism in the Home Office said: “I would like to thank the outgoing Academic RiSC Chair, Professor Chris Hankin for his leadership and valuable contribution to this essential partnership between government and academia. I am delighted that Dr Simon Harwood and Professor Andrew Shortland at Cranfield are taking forward this important network of Universities. The wealth of experience and expertise within Academic RiSC will continue to provide vital insights across the UK national security system.”

Professor Andrew Shortland, Director of Research at Cranfield Defence and Security, said: “The academic community in the UK is a vast bank of cutting-edge research and expertise. A-RiSC has an important role to play in helping government and industry tap into this knowledge, to solve national security challenges.”


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