UK science to fight terror

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The UKs senior scientific, policy and technology experts in counter-terrorism and security have met in London to discuss how they can maximise efforts to protect the public.

In response to the home secretary’s call to foster greater levels of public-private partnerships in counter-terrorism, 150 scientists, venture capitalists, chief executives and professors exchanged ideas on new capabilities and future research priorities. The meeting was organised by the Resilience Industry Suppliers Council (RISC)

‘The UK faces an unprecedented and evolving threat,’ said Lord West, Home Office minister for security and counter-terrorism. ‘By working together, government, academia and industry can ensure that science and innovation contributes fully to the UK’s counter-terrorist effort. In doing so, we will combat the threat more effectively, improve our resilience and reduce the risk from terrorist attack.’

The meeting focused on three main policy areas: innovative counter-terrorism science and research to stay ahead of adversaries; analytical use of horizon scanning to anticipate future terrorist threats; and exploitation of research to deliver more agile solutions to security services.

The UK Government committed to a policy of closer partnership with industry and academia in the UK Security and Counter-Terrorism Science and Innovation Strategy, launched by the home secretary in June 2007.

It is hoped that this collaboration between the new Office of Security and Counter-Terrorism of the Home Office and RISC will lead to deeper engagement between commercial and government scientists on long-term counter-terrorism and security issues.