Imperial College London

Imperial and Cranfield sign agreement for security collaboration


The ISST Innovation System is based in the I-HUB

Imperial College London and Cranfield University have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to deepen ties between the two universities.

Under the MoU, the two universities will develop opportunities for collaboration between the Institute for Security Science and Technology (ISST) at Imperial, and Cranfield Defence and Security (CDS) at Cranfield University.

The agreement has a strong focus on developing collaborative work in education, executive education, and innovation.

Both institutions have renowned strengths in education and innovation in the security and defence arena, and under the MoU the two will seek to leverage these for generating new opportunities.

In the field of innovation, the ISST has established the ISST Innovation Ecosystem at Imperial’s White City campus, which brings together major stakeholders from government, industry and academia to solve security and defence innovation challenges. Cranfield leads the Academic Resilience and Security Community (A-RiSC), a network of over 60 UK universities formed to help government and industry access academic experts and the latest research and knowledge in national security.

Under the MoU, the two institutes will participate in each other’s innovation endeavours, and will also seek to collaborate on thought leadership in the field of security and defence research and innovation.

The two will also cooperate on education initiatives, such as the ISST’s MSc Security and Resilience: Science and Technology programme, and CDS’s Defence and Security Capstone Programme.

Professor Deeph Chana said:

“ISST’s Innovation Ecosystem has proved highly successful in bringing together world leading companies, researchers and government institutions. Signing this MoU with Cranfield is a part of this, and an important step in deepening the ties between our institutions. Cranfield University is very well respected for their security and defence education and innovation, and will be a valuable collaborator for ISST’s Innovation Ecosystem and MSc programme.”

Professor Washington Ochieng, co-director of the ISST said:

“Imperial is recognised as a world leader in research, innovation and education when it comes to solving global challenges in security, resilience and defence. Collaboration is a crucial aspect of this, and this new agreement with Cranfield is major boost to ISST and Imperial’s mission of solving these grand challenges.”

Dr Simon Harwood, Director of Defence and Security at Cranfield University and chairman of A-RISC, said:

“For decades, Cranfield University’s subject matter expertise, customer relationships, specialist facilities and security cleared staff have been working closely across the defence and security sector to reduce the risk to the UK and its citizens and interests overseas so that people can go about their lives freely and with confidence.

“We’re very pleased to have signed this MoU with Imperial and look forward to working together to address national security concerns.”


About Imperial College London
Imperial College London is one of the world’s leading universities. The College’s 17,000 students and 8,000 staff are expanding the frontiers of knowledge in science, medicine, engineering and business, and translating their discoveries into benefits for our society.

Imperial is the UK’s most international university, according to Times Higher Education, with academic ties to more than 150 countries. Reuters named the College as the UK’s most innovative university because of its exceptional entrepreneurial culture and ties to industry.


About the Institute for Security Science and Technology
The Institute for Security Science and Technology (ISST) is Imperial College London’s hub for security and resilience research, education and innovation. Founded in 2008 as one of Imperial’s global challenge institutes, ISST works with academics from across the College, as well as external partners from industry, academia and government, to help solve the grand challenges of security and resilience. ISST’s mission is to challenge the often narrow perception of security, and demonstrate the breadth and depth of a topic that touches everyone in society, wherever they are in the world.

About the ISST Innovation Ecosystem
The Institute for Security Science and Technology (ISST) has established an Innovation Ecosystem at the College’s White City campus, comprising start-ups, corporate, academic and government partners such as the MoD, NATO and US Tri-services, dedicated to looking at the next generation of solutions for security and defence problems. Collectively, the Ecosystem drives new research projects and technology transfer in security and defence. By operating a co-location model, the Ecosystem has enabled interaction and engagement to accelerate opportunity creation.

About Cranfield University
Cranfield is a specialist postgraduate university that is a global leader for education and transformational research in technology and management.

We are focused on the specialist themes of aerospace, defence and security, energy and power, environment and agrifood, manufacturing, transport systems, and water. Cranfield School of Management is a world leader in management education and research.

Cranfield is a six-time winner of the prestigious Queen's Anniversary Prize, the only national honour given to educational institutions for work carried out in the public interest.

We are home to many world-class, large-scale facilities which enhance our teaching and research. We are one of the few universities in the world to have its own airport – our global research airport offers a unique environment for transformational research. Our living laboratory is a testbed for transformative technologies and new approaches to deliver enhanced social, economic and environmental outcomes in urban, transport and infrastructure systems.

Cranfield teaches over 5,000 postgraduate students each year and employs around 1,500 academic and support staff. We have the largest number of postgraduate engineering students in the UK. Our staff-to-student ratio is one of the best for any university in the UK (one member of academic staff to every five students).

We work closely with business, industry and governments around the world. Through our industry partnerships, applied research projects and our executive education and professional development programmes, we currently work with over 1,500 companies and organisations.

The Research Excellence Framework, 2014, classed 81% of our research as world-leading or internationally excellent.

We formed in 1946 as the College of Aeronautics, the first postgraduate college of its kind. The School of Management was founded in 1967.

About Cranfield Defence and Security
Cranfield University is one of the world's leading universities for defence and security education, research and consultancy. 

Our staff and facilities are at the forefront of their fields, offering a diverse range of capabilities from energetics and forensic sciences to international stabilisation, counterterrorism and cyber security.

Cranfield provides specialist knowledge to industry, security and emergency services, military, governments and NGOs, underpinning defence and security sector reform around the world. As a postgraduate academic provider to the UK’s Ministry of Defence, we offer a unique gateway to delivering practical education and solutions that make a real difference to the lives of military, security and civilian personnel.

Cranfield is leading the Academic Resilience and Security Community (A-RiSC), a network of over 60 UK universities formed to help Government and industry access academic experts and the latest research and knowledge in national security.

Max Swinscow-Hall

See the press release of this article


Max Swinscow-Hall

Max Swinscow-Hall
Institute for Security Science & Technology


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