NICTA begins Web services security project

National ICT Australia (Nicta) has announced a three-year, $2 million agreement with Microsoft for A collaborative research project into the development of technologies to improve Web security.

The project, equally funded by Nicta TA and Microsoft, aims to develop security architectures, management policies, and protocols for Web services. It will also provide opportunities for contributions to international standards.

Dr Mel Slater, chief executive officer of Nicta, said joining forces with Microsoft and its developer alliance program is one way to achieve the organization's mission to be a world-class ICT research institute for the benefit of Australia.

"An integral part of Nicta's mission lies not only in conducting collaborative research but also in developing and commercializing the intellectual property that stems from the research," Slater said.

"The intellectual property that results from this project will vest in Nicta, with Microsoft receiving a non-exclusive licence. It is through this arrangement that any commercialization of this intellectual property will be of the direct benefit to the Australian economy and community."

Microsoft Australia managing director Steve Vamos said the partnership with Nicta on this project demonstrates the company's united commitment to address long-term security challenges both business and the industry is facing.

"With the emergence of Web services as the most significant development in our industry it is important to get the right and the best minds so we can secure the environment going forward to benefit business and consumers," Vamos said.

"The linkage of Nicta with Microsoft Australia, and the support of Microsoft Research Asia in this project highlights the importance we jointly place on this project."

The work from the project will also contribute to international standards and proof-of-concept demonstrations associated with public sector based Web services scenarios.

Led by Professor Vijay Varadharajan, the Microsoft Chair for Innovation in Computing at Macquarie University, the team will consist of five researchers, with the possibility of additional researchers joining throughout the project.

The project will be based at Nicta's labs at Australian Technology Park in Sydney.

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