The government's Technology Strategy Board (TSB) has launched a competition inviting bids for up to £6m worth of funding, in an attempt to address the security vulnerabilities that plague modern information systems.
The Information Infrastructure Protection competition (PDF), which is supported by the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, is open to individuals and organisations from any industry or academic sector that may have the relevant experience.
Security vulnerabilities have begun to appear as digital information systems grow in complexity and begin to interoperate, but there are currently no tools to adequately track these vulnerabilities, according to Andrew Tyrer, innovation platform leader for network security at the TSB.
"One of the biggest issues we need to predict is where the weaknesses are across networks," he said. "It's a tough task, so we're trying to bring in people of all disciplines, not just IT security professionals, to work collaboratively on this."
The TSB hopes to attract interest from professionals in fields such as medicine, psychology and transport to lend their expertise to the problem, although there are no prescriptive technology solutions or approaches required from the initiative, said Tyrer.
The competition also aims to encourage participation by providing a series of information days that will help less experienced parties find out more about the submission process.
A social networking service is also being set up to help interested parties form consortia, or find existing ones in need of specific experience, and there will be a 'fast-track' route for submissions valued at under £150,000.
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