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New collaboration seeks to boost UK’s security and resilience

A new research hub combining expertise from government, academia and industry aims to help build a more secure and resilient world.

From disruption to energy and food supply chains, to an increase in threats from physical, environmental and virtual sources, these large and complex challenges cannot be solved individually.

To help strengthen the UK’s societal and economic resilience and enhance its security, a new research hub has launched.

The building a secure and resilient world research and coordination hub, called SALIENT, is led by Dr Richard Kirkham from the Thomas Ashton Institute for Risk and Regulatory Research.

Wide ranging scope

The hub is based at The University of Manchester and is backed by £4.3 million from the building a secure and resilient world strategic theme. Its focus will include, but is not limited to:

  • building robust and secure supply chains
  • delivering global order in a time of change
  • developing technologies used for security and defence
  • finding ways to create behavioural and cultural resilience
  • strengthening resilience in our natural and built environments

Delivering new insight

Using documents such as the national risk register as a guide, SALIENT will collaborate to explore how all the parts within a sector can influence each other.

Doing this will help reveal patterns that are otherwise hidden or hard to identify, helping to shape new answers to problems like food shortages or flooding.

By combining insight from a broad range of ideas, experiences and communities the hub aims to ensure people are at the heart of future solutions.

A broad range of voices

Professor Christopher Smith, Executive Chair of the Arts and Humanities Research Council and lead for the building a secure and resilient world theme said:

Building a secure and resilient world will depend on a broad range of voices, opinions and experiences. It is a task that affects and involves us all.

By selecting The University of Manchester to lead SALIENT we can draw on the combined knowledge of our diverse community to help shape and further develop this theme.

The group’s experience will integrate the various strands of activity and help us create priorities for the future.

Further information

About the building a aecure and resilient world research and coordination hub

The hub is led by Dr Richard Kirkham from the Thomas Ashton Institute for Risk and Regulatory Research at The University of Manchester.

It is a collaboration between the universities of Bath, Exeter and Sussex, plus:

  • British University in Dubai
  • Cabinet Office
  • Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
  • Government Office for Science
  • Health and Safety Executive
  • HM Treasury
  • HM Revenue and Customs
  • Infrastructure and Projects Authority
  • National Audit Office
  • Office of Gas and Electricity Markets
  • STEM Futures Reliability Hub

University of Manchester:

  • Dr Richard Kirkham, Deputy Director Thomas Ashton Institute (engineering)
  • Dr Constance Smith, UK Research and Innovation Future Leaders Fellow (social anthropology)
  • Professor Duncan Shaw, Alliance Manchester Business School (critical systems)
  • Professor Mark Elliot, UK Anonymisation Network (social sciences)
  • Professor Sharon Clarke, Thomas Ashton Institute (organisational psychology)

University of Bath:

  • Professor Michael Lewis, Centre of Sustainable and Circular Technologies

University of Exeter:

  • Dr Maya Vachkova, Systems Thinking (politics)
  • Professor Philipp Thies, Renewable Energy (engineering)

University of Sussex:

  • Professor Paul Nightingale, Science Policy Research Unit
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