The UK's Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) in partnership with the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) yesterday announced the formation of the UK's second Academic Research Institute focused on cyber security. The institute is being funded by a £4.5 million grant.

"The second Research Institute will carry out world-leading research into techniques for Automated Program Analysis and Verification of computer software," according to a GCHQ statement. "The outputs from the Research Institute will provide businesses, individuals and government with additional confidence that software will behave in a secure fashion when installed on operational networks."

The institute is made of up teams from six universities, which were selected through a competitive process in which they were required to devise research projects in three key areas: vulnerability discovery, malware analysis and classification of code, and improved defenses and mitigations.

The following teams were chosen: Queen Mary, University of London, working with University of Kent and University College London; University of Edinburgh; Imperial College London; University of London; University of Kent working with University College London; and University of Manchester. Imperial College London will host the institute.

"This institute will build on the UK's global reputation for cyber security research and innovation," David Willetts, Minister for Universities and Science, said in a statement. "It complements wider work government is doing in partnership with academia and industry to boost the economy through improved cyber security."

The government's first cyber security research institute was launched in September of 2012, with £3.8 million in funding. Both institutes share an aim of increasing the UK's academic capability in all fields of cyber security.