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University officially opens doors of its cyber centre of excellence in Germany

University of Gloucestershire has officially opened the doors of its groundbreaking Institute of Cybersecurity and Digital Innovation (ICDI) in Germany, designed to tackle the cyber skills gap and drive new technologies.

The state-of-the-art centre of excellence, based in Düren, Western Germany, has been developed in collaboration with longstanding partner Fachhochschule des Mittelstands (FHM, University of Applied Sciences of SMEs).

Funding of 4.23 million euros over five years was secured from the Düren district in Germany for the University – Highly Commended in the Cyber University of the Year category at this year’s National Cyber Awards – and FHM to establish the new facility.

At its matriculation ceremony, Professor Kamal Bechkoum, the Head of the University’s School of Computing and Engineering, welcomed students enrolled on the range of new cybersecurity degree programmes delivered by the ICDI.

The ICDI will collaborate on cyber projects with other national and international universities and the public and private sector, as well establishing itself as a test centre and a demonstration zone for cyber technologies.

The ICDI also offers training in the area of data protection and cyber security for businesses in the Rhineland region, tailored to their specific needs, promoting cyber security and digital innovation in small and medium-sized businesses, and supporting economic growth.

Professor Bechkoum said: “The ICDI has a primary goal to establish nationally and internationally recognised standards of excellence in the education of cybersecurity and digital innovation.

“Our experience and sector-leading partnerships in the fast-paced world of cyber make us perfectly placed to partner with FHM in delivering this project, which will tackle the cyber skills shortage and facilitate digital innovation in both the UK and Germany.

“The development and building of competencies in cyber currently represents one of the biggest challenges for businesses globally, with the risk of cyberattacks growing exponentially.”

Picture: Professor Kamal Bechkoum (left) and Gareth Nelson, senior lecturer in Computing, at the Institute of Cybersecurity and Digital Innovation