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TNO and RMIT Vietnam University collaborate to strengthen cyber expertise

29 Aug 2018

Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) University, headquartered in Australia and with a full campus in Vietnam, and The Netherlands Organisation for applied scientific research (TNO) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to strengthen their combined cyber expertise in a number of areas, in particular Internet of Things (IoT), blockchain and dark web.

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Associate Professor Mathews Nkhoma, Head of RMIT Vietnam’s School of Business & Management, said he was proud of the collaboration and expects the MoU to generate much knowledge about emergent cybersecurity threats in blockchain and IoT.

“This agreement will facilitate discussions of possible solutions to cybersecurity threats, with an interdisciplinary approach, and based on technical foundations from control theory, artificial intelligence, game theory, networking, and software engineering,” Associate Professor Mathews said.

“In addition, the MoU will create an opportunity for the staff at our state-of-the-art Cyber Security Lab and those who are interested in the topic to gain insightful information and exchange knowledge and ideas about the future of cybersecurity.”

The agreement also provides an opportunity for RMIT to incorporate cybersecurity and blockchain into its authentic assessments.

“We aim to extend the learning process beyond the classroom by exposing our students to industry and real world issues, in order to produce graduates who are ready for life and work,” Associate Professor Nkhoma added.

“This agreement opens the door to the world of blockchain and Internet-of-things for both our staff and students, thereby equipping our students with graduate attributes highly sought after by our industry partners.”

Mark van Staalduinen and Prof. Geal McDonald, President of RMIT Vietnam

Dr Mark van Staalduinen, Deputy Director TNO South East Asia, said: “This collaboration aims to strengthen networks and expertise in South East Asia, and especially in Vietnam. A great example is the recent training we conducted at the Asia Region Law Enforcement Management Program (ARLEMP). ARLEMP is a regional training partnership between the Australian Federal Police, RMIT University and the Vietnam Ministry of Security with support of the National Police of the Netherlands. Through ARLEMP, TNO delivered a dark web training to police from 17 countries in Asia, thereby strengthening regional law enforcement capacity to disrupt criminals on the dark web.”

“On top of this expertise, we aim to deepen the cyber expertise especially on the addressed areas of interest. Due to Vietnam’s excellent work attitude and persistence, and the multi-disciplinary approach and strong skills developed at RMIT, this partnership is very important for TNO. It not only strengthens our position in South East Asia, the expected results are mutually beneficial for the Netherlands to create a safer internet,” Dr van Staalduinen said.

The signing ceremony was witnessed by the Consul General of the Netherlands in Ho Chi Minh City, Dr Carel Richter who said: “This collaboration should deepen expertise and stimulate dialogues towards global and sustainable cybersecurity solutions, for example under the Global Forum for Cyber Expertise (GFCE), where Australia, Vietnam, Singapore and The Netherlands are members. Furthermore, we foresee a great opportunity with the Orange ASEAN Factory coming to Ho Chi Minh City in March 2019 to work with RMIT and TNO on next generation sustainability challenges.”

After the signing ceremony, a cyber security seminar was organised to discuss the cyber security implications as a result of a number of emergent technologies such as cryptocurrencies, blockchain, Internet of Things and Cyber-physical Systems. The seminar included a contribution by Professor Robert Kooij, principal research scientist at the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD). The seminar was well attended by RMIT management, staff and students.

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