Tuesday, 14 November 2017 to Thursday, 16 November 2017

Application for Science Collaboration Symposium

Attending Countries: UK and Gulf Countries

Theme: Cyber Security

Dates: 14 - 16 November 2017

Location: University of Manchester, United Kingdom


Countries across the Gulf region are striving towards the notion of a digital economy, and although digitalisation holds the prospective for vast benefits, it also comes with risk from the ever-growing number of cyber related threats.

Cyber terrorism is a global issue and one that is ever changing, both in terms of the level of sophistication and the impact to public and private entities. Cyber related crime has evolved thanks to the advancing capabilities of those responsible, as well as the efficiency of these networks of groups seeking to benefit from cyber terrorism. Nation states have also sought to develop and utilise cyber attack technologies and are employing these as part of their national military capabilities, as well as many threat actors stealing valuable intellectual property.

The vast resources of the Gulf countries and their rapid adoption of digital technology have made them a prime target for cyber related activity. Cyber security has, therefore, become a priority for Gulf States following a number of recent attacks on both public and private sector companies, with the number of incidents in the region rising by as much as 500% in the last year. Governments across the region are conscious of these new threats and are actively seeking to strengthen their national cyber-security infrastructure, prompting a push at a national level to assess and rectify weaknesses.

Given the close relationship between the Gulf and the UK, it is also in the UK national interest that our Gulf partners have effective cyber security capabilities, not least as in many cases the UK is dependent on the effective functioning of key elements of the Gulf countries’ critical national infrastructure.

With this in mind, we are organising a symposium that will focus on seeking to support and address priority areas for cyber security related to the national visions of the Gulf countries, in order to promote research and development in the following areas:

  • Protection of Critical National Information & Infrastructure o Financial Services:
  1. Healthcare Services
  2. Transportation Services
  3. Telecommunications
  4. Utilities
  • Protection of big data o Banking
  1. Government
  2. Healthcare (Healthcare Records & Genomic Medicine)
  3. Education
  • Cyber security as it relates to the internet of things o Smart Cities
  1. Connected Healthcare
  2. Smart Manufacturing
  3. Privacy/Data Protection
  4. Cloud Computing

The Symposium will be held at the University of Manchester, from 14th to 16th November, 2017. It will be attended by scientists from Universities, other research institutions, start-up companies and established industry from the Gulf countries and the UK as well as from government entities. It will invite open discussions and potential investment to encourage the creation of UK-Gulf collaboration to access the deep pool of information & technology sharing, which will in turn lead to benefits for both the Gulf and the UK and open the door for commercial opportunities. We are asking researchers to present their stimulating work and ideas related to cyber security.

This Symposium on Cyber Security will be funded and delivered as part of the UK Government’s Gulf Science Innovation Knowledge Economy Programme, which forms part of a wider programme. It will include a research call via the Institutional Links in the Spring of 2018. Cyber security will be one of the topics of this call for proposals. This research call, the second in as many years, has a UK Government contribution of £2.4 million. This event is organised in collaboration by the UK Science & Innovation Network (SIN), the UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the British Council and in partnership with the University of Manchester.

The following expenses will be covered for the researchers selected to attend:

  • Return economy flight to/from Manchester International Airport for international participants, or trainfare to Manchester for UK participants.
  • Train tickets will be paid for by way of reimbursement for UK participants upon submission of receipts.
  • 3 - 4 nights accommodation in a single room for international participants.
  • 2 - 3 nights accommodation in a single room for UK participants travelling in from outside the North West of England.

Please note that those attending from industry/SMEs must be self-funded

To apply, please complete the application form and submit it to by the 14 September 2017