Back UPF is coordinating a new Chair in Cybersecurity, the result of an agreement with the INCIBE, which aims to attract more women to this area

UPF is coordinating a new Chair in Cybersecurity, the result of an agreement with the INCIBE, which aims to attract more women to this area

In addition to strengthening teaching, research and knowledge transfer in this field to the public and private sectors, the Chair aims to promote the social culture of cybersecurity and generate vocations in this sector, especially among girls and adolescents.  UPF will coordinate this chair thanks to the agreement with the INCIBE and with the collaboration of the UOC Foundation. Université Paris-Saclay, l’Institut Polytechnique de Paris and the companies Lambda, Mobile World Capital and Oracle are also involved.


Imatge inicial

UPF is to coordinate a new Chair in Cybersecurity, the result of a collaboration agreement with the Spanish National Institute of Cybersecurity (INCIBE). The Chair aims to strengthen university teaching and research on cybersecurity and promote the transfer of knowledge in this field to the public and private sectors. It also aims to promote a culture of cybersecurity among citizens and greater levels of social diversity and inclusion in this area, especially by encouraging female vocational involvement.

The constitution of the ARTEMISA International Chair in Cybersecurity was recently formalized with the signing of an agreement between UPF and the INCIBE. On behalf of UPF, the agreement was entered into by the rector of the University, Laia de Nadal, and on behalf of the INCIBE, its managing director, Félix Antonio Barrio. At UPF, the chair will be directed by Vanesa Daza, a professor and a researcher with the Department of Information and Communication Technologies (DTIC) and vice-rector for Knowledge Transfer at UPF.

Through this agreement, initially to run for three years, the INCIBE undertakes to provide financial, technical, institutional and personnel support to the Chair. Meanwhile, UPF will coordinate the chair’s programme of activities, with the participation and co-financing of the UOC Foundation. Université Paris-Saclay, l’Institut Polytechnique de Paris and the companies Lambda, Mobile World Capital and Oracle are also involved. The collaborating companies will carry out citizen awareness activities, expert round tables and outreach activities for families or schools. The Cybersecurity Agency of Catalonia will also support the Chair.

Strengthening research and training in cybersecurity

The Chair, coordinated by UPF’s DTIC, will promote more teaching activities on cybersecurity. Among other initiatives is the noteworthy creation of a cyber range laboratory, a virtual environment to put skills and knowledge in this field into practice, as well as audiovisual teaching material. High-quality and original research on cybersecurity will also be conducted and will focus on the development of innovative solutions, among other objectives. Another of the Chair’s lines of action is to help the most talented students of cybersecurity to make their way into the professional world to transfer their knowledge. Collaboration between students, graduates and companies in the industry will be encouraged in order to generate opportunities for the exchange of knowledge and job placement (such as internships, collaboration projects with companies, etc.).

Encouraging cybersecurity vocations, especially among girls

One of the main priorities of this chair, and the reason for the choice of the name Artemisa, is to bring the world of cybersecurity closer to women, especially girls and adolescents. According to the 2022 Women in Cybersecurity Report, women hold 25% of jobs related to this sector around the world, 5 points more than in 2019 but still a long way from reaching parity. 

In this regard, Vanesa Daza (UPF) explains: “The future is digital and it is not possible that there are no women protecting this digital future. It is important to add their gaze and take their criteria and needs in the field of cybersecurity into account”. The Chair will develop some awareness-raising activities whose common thread will be the literary character of a girl hacker. Using a female protagonist with a vast knowledge of cybersecurity, the idea is for girls to identify with her, to capture their attention and empower them in this field. The Chair will also generate workshops for children and young people in general, as well as informative and accessible content on cybersecurity for the general public.

For their part, the UOC researchers point out that cybersecurity is challenged by the “constant evolution, sophistication and complexity of attacks, along with the scarcity of qualified professionals and the difficulty of effectively disseminating the culture of digital security among citizens. In addition, the rapid adoption of emerging technologies, such as machine learning, which can improve the detection of anomalous patterns and behaviour, can also be used by attackers”, warn David Megías –director of the Internet Interdisciplinary Institute (IN3)– and Helena Rifà – a professor of Computer, Multimedia and Telecommunications Studies–, both from the K-ryptography and Information Security for Open Networks (KISON) research group.

The Chair will have a budget of €1,600,000 over the next three years. Three-quarters of this amount will be financed by the INCIBE, while the remaining 25% will be contributed by UPF, as the coordinating university of the Chair, together with the UOC. These two universities will also manage the budget provided by the INCIBE. The INCIBE will allocate EU Next Generation funds to the Chair and UPF, in addition to having the support of the UOC, will enjoy the collaboration of the other partners of the Chair from the university world and the private sector.

The INCIBE and its invitation to create Chairs in cybersecurity

The INCIBE is a state company attached to the Ministry for Digital Transformation and Public Function through the Secretary of State for Digitalization and Artificial Intelligence. Its mission is to strengthen cybersecurity, privacy and trust in Information Society services, providing value to citizens, companies, the administration and strategic sectors such as ICT. At the end of 2022, it launched a public collaboration invitation, aimed at supporting the creation of chairs in cybersecurity. UPF responded to this invitation by submitting its candidacy to coordinate the chair, which has finally led to its creation.


This initiative is carried out within the framework of the funds of the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan, financed by the European Union (Next Generation), the project of the Spanish Government that traces the roadmap for the modernization of the Spanish economy, the recovery of economic growth and job creation, for the solid, inclusive and resilient economic reconstruction after the covid-19 crisis, and to respond to the challenges of the next decade.



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