SPRITE+: The Security, Privacy, Identity, and Trust Engagement NetworkPlus

Lead Research Organisation: University of Manchester
Department Name: Social Sciences


SPRITE+ is a NetworkPlus that will deliver a step change in engagement between people involved in research, practice, and policy relevant to trust, identity, privacy, and security (TIPS) with a focus on digital contexts. SPRITE+ will deliver a coherent, coordinated, multi-disciplinary approach, with strong stakeholder relationships at the centre. Collectively, we will identify and address key research challenges.

Our activities will be centred around 'Challenge Themes', which will be broad, future-focused, and important to a wide range of stakeholders, where issues of security, privacy, identity, and trust are all relevant, and where an interdisciplinary approach is essential to fully addressing the Challenge. Examples might be Responsible innovation; Automation, autonomy, acceptability; Usable Security; 'Super-connectivity'; Risk, resilience, and recovery; Digital Identities.

Over the lifetime of SPRITE+, Working Groups will explore each Theme, producing comprehensive, cross-disciplinary understanding of key themes and making recommendations for future research priorities. Members will have the opportunity to bid to our £400K research fund via sandpits at which they will co-create proposals with users, e.g., for events, feasibility studies, and sprint reviews.

SPRITE+ is led by a Management Team (the PI, 4 co-Is), working closely with Project Partners from across industry, government, third sector and academia. A cadre of Expert Fellows will complement the Management Team's expertise and will help SPRITE+ develop a multidisciplinary approach to realising its vision. Fellows will provide intellectual leadership, take a leading role in Working Groups, and help bridge the gaps between diverse cognate groups and networks. A Strategic Advisory Board will review and develop SPRITE+'s performance. Membership will be open to all with an interest in research on security, privacy, identity, and trust. Members will receive a newsletter, access to online resources, and opportunities to attend events and bid for funds.

The outcomes of our activities will be (a) a vibrant collaborative community, with strong collaborative relationships and increased industry investment in new research; (b) an expanded academic TIPS community, that includes researchers from humanities, behavioural and social sciences, and from other areas of 'security science'; (c) a community of Early Career Researchers who understand users and have the skills and knowledge to deliver high quality impactful research in their future careers; (d) mutual support and understanding between cognate groups and networks; and e) a set of roadmaps that shape future research investment priorities.

Planned Impact

Research on issues of security, privacy, identity, and trust have the potential for broad-ranging impact, with benefits to academia, companies, the critical national infrastructure, security and law enforcement professionals, government, civil society organisations, and citizens. The enormous potential economic and social benefits of technological advances will only be realised if security vulnerabilities are well-understood and addressed, and if public confidence and trust in new technologies is built and maintained. SPRITE+ will explore these challenges, synthesise existing knowledge and stimulate new approaches to addressing gaps in our understanding, delivery and engagement. Collaborative relationships that address end user concerns are the core of SPRITE+ activities, and we will include stakeholders in shaping our activities from the outset.

In addition to academic impact, SPRITE+ activities will seek economic and societal impact via the following mechanisms:

(a) Deep understanding of user concerns through close collaborative working with Project Partners and other users to establish their key concerns and challenges relating to security, privacy, identity, and trust.

(b) Research focused on end users. Our non-academic stakeholders will advise on priority research gaps. Feasibility studies and short research projects funded from the SPRITE+ Research Fund will be co-created with end users via sandpits and the Dragons' Den selection panel will draw on diverse viewpoints. Project Partners will also play a crucial role in evaluating the outcomes of funded research and, where appropriate, will fund follow-on research. We believe these steps will maximise the likelihood of research take-up.

(c) Prioritised research translation and communication. We will develop a website (SPRITEHub) that will host on ramping training materials, research outputs (including reports of events), and a comprehensive set of links to cognate groups and organisations. We will provide training for ECRs to help them translate and apply their research to make it usable by stakeholders, and create opportunities for researchers at all levels to talk with Project Partners at 'round table' meetings.

(d) Public Engagement. We will encourage involvement in public science events (e.g., Festivals and university open days), media engagement (e.g., via The Conversation), and public debates (e.g., evidence to Parliamentary committees).

(e) Outreach to Enterprise and SMEs. We will engage businesses beyond Project Partners through an outreach programme.


10 25 50