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Multi-million pound project seeks to understand future security threats to UK cities. New collaborative tech platform enables scenario response

September 28, 2022 | News

Understanding how the UK can be resilient against possible security threats in the future, will become the proving ground for a new collaborative technology platform that will see government, industry and academia come together to consider such threats built around the scenario of a catastrophic attack on digital and energy networks in the year 2051.

Powered by Shift Platform, a collaboration tool developed by Belfast and London-based technology company Whitespace, the RBOC Community will enable the Resilience Beyond Observed Capabilities (RBOC) Network+ to develop and harness new understandings about issues that may threaten the resilience of UK cities in the future.

The RBOC Network+ will enable the multi-million pound research project, being spearheaded by Coventry University, to bring academia, industry and policy maker partners together to collaborate with real time events, meetings, chats, white boards and discussion areas. Here, individual elements of the project can be tested so that a coordinated and coherent response can be developed. This allows existing research to be identified and brought to the attention of relevant collaborators at speed, enabling expert, cross-sector teams to quickly establish where gaps lie and where new research is required.

Utilising the capabilities of Shift Platform, RBOC Network+ will allow experts to collaborate more effectively and efficiently in a manner which has previously not been possible. It is the first major roll-out of the technology, having previously been developed as an innovation collaboration tool for a community of C-suite level executives who are part of Whitespace’s Corporate Innovation Community.

David McllHatton, RBOC Project Lead from Coventry University, commented: “Collaborating effectively on a project of this scale is key for maximum impact. It will enable us to bring the project members together beyond in-person sessions, to digitally co-create and co-produce for greatest effect. We have chosen to adopt Shift Platform from Whitespace as our digital collaboration platform for this project, with the primary goal of opening up cross-organisational collaboration between academia, government and industry. We see this as providing a future-proofed opportunity for starting conversations around a resilient UK, set against the background of possible security threats of the future.”

Shift Platform has been developed as a white label SaaS solution. It has been designed from the ground up to be scalable and to enable organisations and individuals around the World to collaborate in a familiar digital environment.  Shift uses a comprehensive set of leading collaboration tools that make it the perfect choice for the RBOC Network+ project.

Focusing on developing knowledge of potential capabilities in future generations will provide the foundations for the UK to think differently and creatively about future resilience. RBOC Network+ enabled by Shift Platform, will help the UK research community achieve this by developing, for the first time, an extensive network of collaborators, many of which will have never been involved in resilience research before.

The RBOC Network+ will bring collaborators from Coventry University, Cardiff University, Lancaster University, University of Manchester, Ulster University and RUSI. The project has been supported by BAE Systems, Cambridge Consultants Ltd, Greater Manchester Combined Authority, Improbable Defence, International Leadership Association, Lancashire County Council, Ordnance Survey, PA Consultancy Services, and Whitespace, together to help consider security threats in the coming decades.

Andrew Webber, CMO at Whitespace commented: “For us, it is a great honour to make Shift Platform available for this hugely important collaborative project. It will be the first of many such platforms that we will be building for clients in academia, the public sector, and the private sector who are interested in transforming how they collaborate.”

Shift Platform: