PETRAS Demonstrators: Bringing Research into the Real World

By Dr Alisdair Ritchie 
PETRAS Impact Champion

PETRAS, the UK’s Cybersecurity of the Internet of Things research hub, has evolved a wide range of cutting-edge research arranged in more than 50 research projects since it began in February 2016. At the start much of this research was at an early Technology Readiness Level and was seeking to analyse what the current state of IoT in the UK was and where the gaps existed in current research. However, as PETRAS has progressed, the projects have increasingly involved our industry partners and have been more about delivering knowledge that can be put into use.

Our recent second strategic funding call continued this trend as it sought to create a number of PETRAS Demonstrator projects that put knowledge into use in a real world environment. These were designed to take advantage of PETRAS research, and in creating the Demonstrators PETRAS saw an opportunity to demonstrate to the public the value of the funding it has received to the people who funded its research in the first place. This second strategic funding call funded a total of six demonstrators with academic and industrial leads located across the country:

IoT in the Home: Led by Professor Jeremy Watson of UCL and in partnership with BRE, this project aims to examine what the future of Smart Homes will look like for the residents with a particular focus on Energy Sharing at a device, home and district level.

PEDASI: Led by Dame Professor Wendy Hall of the University of Southampton, PEDASI is an extension of PETRAS’ IoT Observatory research project and will develop an online software platform that can be used to share IoT Datasets and facilitate further research. A list of key partners include Cisco, BT and the Manchester CityVerve smart cities programme.

SECCCNIoT: Led by Professor Awais Rashid, at new PETRAS partner institution the University of Bristol, this demonstrator will focus on the UK’s Critical National Infrastructure. Working with Cardiff University, Costain and Airbus it will seek to model processes at each of the two companies, evaluating risks within them and seeking to develop protocols to manage that risk.

IoT-TRAM: Led by Professor Carsten Maple, University of Warwick, is working with a range of partners including Ordnance Survey, Costain, Meridian, Network Rail, Honda, TUV-SUD and BT. This project will look to test some of the technical infrastructure that has been developed in PETRAS on live test-beds, for example the B-IoT (Blockchain in IoT) project will look at the use of blockchain as a means of maintaining continuous authorisation of Public Key Information (PKI) on the roads of the future, it will be tested on the A2/M2 national connected corridor testbed. This demonstrator will also bring together under a coordinated umbrella the diverse array of CAV test-beds currently in the UK, providing them with a common strategy.

Art-Connect: Art-Connect: Led by Professor Julie McCann of Imperial College London and in partnership with The Tate Group, this demonstrator will aim to take the steps towards the miniaturisation of sensors to so-called Smart Dust devices and evolving a cutting-edge High Value Asset Tracking system. The goal will be to develop a high standard asset tracking system that can be used to manage works of art by the Tate but ultimately could be applied to global supply chain.

MASBI – New PETRAS partner, Newcastle University, has generously made available its Urban Sciences Building to PETRAS. The Urban Science’s Building is a £60m Smart Building that is designed to be a living lab for what Smart Buildings of the future will look like. Since it’s opening, a year ago, the building has produced more than 100 million observable data interactions but this data is sensitive and so cannot be shared openly. The MASBI project will aim to provide an appropriate level of secure access to this data bearing in mind the privacy and ethical concerns of the people who work in the building.

The PETRAS demonstrators officially launched on 1st September 2018 and will all demonstrate the work that they have been doing during ‘Demonstrator Week’ which will commence on the 4th February 2019. We look forward to seeing you all there!