US company Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) has signed an agreement with Kent University’s United Kingdom Biometrics Institute (UKBI) to collaborate on biometric and identity projects.
Following an initiative from government organisation UK Trade & Investment (UKTI), the agreement aims to foster cooperation from academia, industry and government in collaborative research and development. A key element of the agreement is the creation of an SAIC student sponsorship programme to train students in the area of biometrics.
‘This programme demonstrates SAIC’s commitment to working with academia and the government to bring science to solutions quickly,’ said John Christensen, SAIC business development. ‘With this agreement, we’re reaching back to our scientific roots to help mentor the next generation of scientists in the UK.’
As part of the sponsorship programme, the team will introduce the ‘SAIC University Challenge,’ a contest designed to promote innovative biometric ideas. The universities in UKBI will develop product ideas, form virtual companies and compete against each other for an award.
‘This challenge will encourage university students to work with industry to adopt innovative and creative solutions, solve complex problems, think strategically and use project management skills,’ said Carole Barron, director of Enterprise at the University of Kent. ‘It will help position these students to pursue careers in the biometrics and leverage their abilities to help solve some of the world’s most complex problems.’
Formed by the Department of Electronics at Kent University and supported by Kent Enterprise, UKBI members include the International Association for Biometrics, the Security Knowledge Innovation Network, Cranfield University, and the European Biometrics Forum.