KTP Awards

Applied Computing receives KTP funding (Spring 2016)

Dr Harin Sellahewa and Dr Hisham Al-Assam of the Applied Computing Department, alongside Deepnet Security based at Bletchley Park, have been granted Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) funding from Innovate UK. The grant is worth approximately £120,000 over 24 months.

Through this project Deepnet Security and the Applied Computing Department aim to join their specialised skills and knowledge together to develop an authentication tool based on hand signatures. This application would be able to protect confidential information on smartphones and tablets from unauthorised access. Smartphone and tablet users sign their signature on the touch screen using their finger, and that signature would then be used as part of a company’s authentication system.

The software will offer business customers, such as banks, a reliable, secure and convenient authentication platform for conducting business operations. The project will transfer the specialised
knowledge of touch-gesture based biometrics authentication and security systems in the Department to Deepnet Security, who will then deploy cutting-edge authentication technologies in the field.

This is the second KTP project secured by the Applied Computing Department within the last 12 months. The first project, also with Deepnet Secuity, aims to develop a state-of-the-art and secure face recognition component to be integrated into the company’s multi-factor biometrics-based authentication software. Dr Harin Sellahewa, the Head of Applied Computing and the project’s Lead Academic, said: “With the ever increasing use of smartphones to conduct online transactions, the accurate and convenient user authentication on such devices is of paramount importance. We are very excited about this partnership with Deepnet Security as it enables us to see our most recent research in biometrics on smartphones being realised as a commercial product.”

Dr Hisham Al-Assam, the Knowledge Base Supervisor, added: “After a very successful start to the first KTP project with Deepnet Security, I am excited to play the same role as an Academic Supervisor again. My main responsibility in this project is to supervise the KTP Associate, who will be developing this innovative product.”

Yurong Lin, who runs Deepnet Security, added: “This is a very exciting project. It will put us ahead of the competition. It is the technology of the next generation.”


KTP funding will help develop pest-recognition system for farming (Spring 2016)

Dr Ihsan Lami and Professor Sabah Jassim have won a KTP grant worth £200,000 over 30 months. It will be used to develop a smart-trap with an embedded remote pest-recognition system for pheromonebased insect monitoring traps. It will enable farmers to make rapid response decisions when faced with invasive and resident pests.

This project, 60% funded by the government UK-innovate programme and 40% by Russell IPM, will enable a new generation of farming products aimed to satisfy the new EU Sustainable Use Directive (which states that spraying pesticides should only be carried out on crops within an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) strategy). This project will join the strengths of both parties; Russell IPM has been at the forefront of developing pheromone-based traps for various farming insects for over 25 years, while the Applied Computing Department has been developing novel image analysis and integrated wireless communication techniques for over 10 years. Together they will build a wireless embedded platform that can process insect images taken from the pheromone traps at remote locations. It will use custom developed algorithms to differentiate between trapped insects according to reliable insect identification keys. Dr Al-Zaidi, Managing Director of Russell IPM, said: “Empowering the monitoring traps will provide Russell IPM with an exclusive growth capability into new markets and applications ahead of our competition. The expertise of Drs Lami and Jassim shall help us achieve this. Gaining this knowledge will empower the monitoring station with climatic sensors that will provide the basic data to feed into ‘smart mathematical models’ for predicting the emergence of pests.”

Dr Lami commented that “we are very pleased to be able to work with Russell IPM. We look forward to helping them develop the capacity to build an embedded system which differentiates between trapped insects reliably and efficiently, as well as reducing energy demand for such processes considering the limited power available at the remote farm locations.”


Applied Computing is heading the first KTP project of the University (September 2015)

The Department of Applied Computing has just started a three-year Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) project on secure face recognition.

A grant of £160,000 was secured in August 2014 by Dr Hisham Al-Assam and Mr Hongbo Du at Buckingham, in collaboration with Mr Yurong Lin, CEO of local company Deepnet Security. It was jointly funded by Innovate UK and Deepnet Security. Dr Matthew Oakes (PhD Sheffield), the KTP Associate, joined the project team in February this year.

The project aims to develop a state-of-the-art, sophisticated and secure face recognition component to be integrated into the company’s multi-factor biometrics-based authentication software. The
software will offer business customers, such as banks and health organisations, a reliable, secure and easy to use authentication platform for conducting business operations.

The project will transfer specialised knowledge in biometrics-based authentication and security systems accumulated in the Department over the last decade to Deepnet Security, who will then deploy cutting-edge authentication technologies in the field.

“Building strong links with the IT industry is part of our long-term strategy for growth and research impact,” says Dr Harin Sellahewa, Head of the Applied Computing Department. “The successful start of this project demonstrates that our effort in forging such links has paid off. We shall continue to build on our success and further strengthen ties with industry”. The Department is currently in the process of applying for at least another two KTP projects this year.

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