Metrarc consortium wins funding from Innovate UK for data protection research

Cambridge, United Kingdom, 29th March 2016

Cambridge-based Metrarc is part of a consortium which has won funding worth £400,000 from Innovate UK to combat growing security threats to the management of personal health data.

Through the Protecting Data in Industry scheme Innovate UK is investing £4 million into collaborative research and development projects that tackle the growing risks of disruption to internet-enabled businesses and their digital supply chain.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is posing significant challenges to existing data protection strategies as new sources of data multiply and the digital footprint of end-users expands.

Innovate UK is looking to encourage the development of new mechanisms and systems which will adequately protect the interests of users, business and industry, while helping us fully understand the impact of any disruptions.

Metrarc is working in a consortium with partners Liverpool-based AIMES Grid Services and Southampton-based IT Innovations on the £550k project ASSURED – Automated Security for Supplier-User Reference models in E-health Data.

This project will accelerate access to data for organisations that design and operate secure platforms and networks in the health supply chain. ASSURED will enable organisations to automatically identify threats to their networks and services and evaluate compliance to health data security standards for managing risks to systems and data.

The project will address the concerns of health suppliers looking to open up data sets, for example, from NHS N3 connected systems to the wider digital supply chain.

Currently companies wishing to work with personal health data records face long lead-in times to satisfy IT governance procedures and face ongoing threats and costs from the loss or exposure of patient identifiable data.

ASSURED will massively speed up the approval process and significantly reduce security risks during operation by enabling continuous automated verification against a changing threat landscape and compliance requirements.

Metrarc Founder Karl Heeks said: “Personal health data such as NHS data has huge potential value in traditional industries such as drug design and new emerging ones such as personalised health.

“The major barriers to innovation are around data security and legal compliance and a highly trusted business model and process are needed to access data. ASSURED is designed to address these challenges by speeding up the approval process and improving the level of assurance systems once connected to networks’

The ASSURED project is collaborative and business-led, bringing together a leading UK digital health innovator AIMES and leading data security technology from Metrarc and the University of Southampton IT Innovation Centre.

Professor Klaus McDonald-Maier, Metrarc Co-Founder and CEO, said: “We are delighted to be working with AIMES and IT Innovations on this important area of research and development and we look forward to bringing our novel cryptographic ICMetric key generation technology to provide a user friendly alternative to vulnerable passwords and to mitigate threats to end user devices and credentials.”

About AIMES Grid Services Ltd

AIMES is an industry leading commercial data centre service provider based in

North West of England. AIMES provides services such as co-location, hosting data back-up, managed services and business continuity as well as investing significantly in R & D activities to improve the efficiency, reliablilty and security of data centre infrastructure. For more information see

About Metrarc

Cambridge based Metrarc is developing groundbreaking security technology for applications where high levels of security and authentication are important such as Internet of Things (IoT), e and m-commerce and quantified self applications such as healthcare and sports monitoring. Metrarc’s technology for deriving encryption keys directly from the operating characteristics of digital systems without having to store the encryption keys, a technology termed ICMetricsTM. For more information on Metrarc see or contact Professor Klaus McDonald-Maier at

About IT Innovation Centre

The University of Southampton IT Innovation centre is an applied research centre advancing a range of information technologies and their deployment in industry and commerce. IT Innovation Centre research, develop, architect engineer and integrate innovative IT systems. For more information see

About Innovate UK

Innovate UK is the new name for the Technology Strategy Board and they fund, support and connect innovative businesses to accelerate sustainable economic growth. For more information on Innovate UK see