Lancaster showcases expertise in cyber capabilities in the maritime domain

Panel of expert speakers

Lancaster University’s reputation in the field of sea power and maritime security has been recognised in the delivery of a satellite event for the First Sea Lord’s Sea Power Conference.

The First Sea Lord’s Sea Power Conference is the Royal Navy’s flagship annual conference, delivered by the Council on Geostrategy. This year, the conference explores an important and long-term priority - the future of the Royal Navy and its vision for 2024. It also aims to foster a dialogue between delegates from the private and public sectors - officers, officials, parliamentarians, industry, media and academia.

To enrich the conference and strengthen the Royal Navy’s links with academia, the Royal Navy has collaborated with three universities from across the country to deliver satellite events – The University of Cambridge, City of Glasgow College, and Lancaster University.

This is the first time they have engaged with a consortium of UK universities as part of the conference, and they chose Lancaster University based on its academic excellence and reputation in the field of sea power and maritime security.

The Lancaster event focused on "Cyber capabilities in the maritime domain and their importance for the UK". It explored the role of cyber in the maritime space and the capabilities that are granted to the Royal Navy. It also addressed how cyber is used to keep important maritime trading routes open and how the UK will ensure its cyber capabilities are state-of-the-art in the future.

Attended by over 50 university students and staff, Basil Germond, Professor of International Security at Lancaster University opened the event. He addressed why the maritime domain is so important for the UK and discussed the impact, challenges and opportunities around sea power, maritime security and cyber resilience.

Basil said: “In a time of uncertainty, the sea is of uttermost importance for the UK’s security and prosperity. Yet, the stability of the maritime order is increasingly at risk. This event was a fantastic opportunity to showcase Lancaster’s unique interdisciplinary expertise in maritime and cyber security.”

Simon Cook, Professor in Practice at Lancaster University chaired a panel session which brought together Lancaster experts in cyber security, international security and cyber maritime.

The speakers discussed a range of themes including the impact of cyber and AI on the Royal Navy, maritime threats from a technology perspective, and the role of cyber to support the Royal Navy in the humanitarian aspects of their work. Manto Lourantaki uses her external expertise and knowledge from business to support the Royal Navy with their activities and joined the panel.

The session ended with questions from the audience to the speakers, and following the event, there were further opportunities for networking, knowledge sharing and discussion between students, staff and representatives from the Royal Navy and the Council on Geostrategy.

Speakers included:

  • Professor Joe Burton, Professor of International Security, Lancaster University
  • Professor Simon Cook, Professor in Practice, Lancaster University
  • Professor Basil Germond, Professor of International Security, Lancaster University
  • Manto Lourantaki, RN
  • Professor Dan Prince, Professor of Cyber Security, Lancaster University
  • Dr Kevin Rowlands, Head, Royal Navy Strategic Studies Centre
  • Dr Simona Soare, Senior Lecturer, Lancaster University

This event was organised by the Council of Geostrategy in partnership with Lancaster University and is one of three official side events as part of the First Sea Lord’s Sea Power Conference 2024. Find out more information about the event here.

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