Boeing and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s Information Trust Institute have teamed up to design trustworthy, reliable, and secure networked systems and software employed in critical infrastructures, with a focus on basic breakthroughs that can become practical and important commercial products within five to 10 years, according to institute director William H. Sanders. The Information Trust Institute will receive an undisclosed amount of funding from Boeing’s Phantom Works unit over the next five years for the purpose of investigating “trusted software,” and Phantom Works VP Gary Fitzmire says U. of I. was chosen on the strength of its trusted software research. The institute’s mission includes setting up science and technology for creating trustworthy networked information systems, the development of methods for evaluating such systems’ trustworthiness, and the administration of those methods to applications in systems including e-commerce, finance, emergency response, data and information processing, and aerospace. The institute has embarked on research projects that include misbehavior detection in wireless networks and a railcar health monitoring system, while the U. of I. last month solicited research project proposals based on the Boeing agreement. Submitted proposals included new software security and survivability techniques, and reliable and robust control of automated aerial vehicles.
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The institute, which launched late last year, is part of the university’s College of Engineering, that recently signed one of its largest master research agreements ever with Boeing’s Phantom Works unit. The business is Boeing’s advanced research and development arm, and it’s providing undisclosed funding to the university over the next five years to support research in “trusted” software. The research will span topics related to security, privacy, reliability, safety and survivability.
The collaboration will focus on “fundamental innovations that can become viable and significant” marketable products in a five-to-10-year time frame, said William H. Sanders director of the institute.