The Cybersecurity Research Award

Calling all University students, Graduate research assistants, Researchers for innovative and original research ideas focused on Cybersecurity threats to Smart Cities.


The Cybersecurity Research Award is an initiative, bringing in University students and principal investigators to present their research ideas to win an award fund of USD $1.5M. This initiative will be launched during University Pavilion event at HITB+ CyberWeek 2019.

The grant is led by DarkMatter with Khalifa University (KU) as their strategic partner. Additionally, Dubai Electronic Security Center (DESC) will be our Advisory Partner and Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation (MBRF), University of Sharjah, Abu Dhabi Polytechnic, and NYU Abu Dhabi are our knowledge partners for this initiative. The award fund totaling to USD $1.5M will be dispersed across a period of 3 years (not exceeding USD $500,000 per year). The institution/s working on the product/idea will own the IP. However, DarkMatter will have first right to license the product/idea. List of Award conditions are included in the RFP deck (see below). Detailed terms and conditions will be shared soon.

This year’s theme for the research award will focus on Cybersecurity threats to Smart Cities and will call for innovative and original research and technology proposals that will potentially advance the field of cybersecurity for Smart Cities.

All awards will be selected by a rigorous, three-stage merit review process, and announced in May 2020. To identify which projects to support, the Cybersecurity Research Award (CRA) committee will rely on a merit review process that incorporates consideration of both the technical aspects of a proposed project and its potential to contribute more broadly to the security of Smart Cities.

The Initiative Milestones



Due Date: 30th August 2019

Poster Talks

Due Date: 26th September 2019

Invitation only

Full Proposal

Due Date: 18th February 2020

Please send your pre-proposals through email at latest by 30th August 2019.

Selected teams will be flown to Abu Dhabi, UAE during HITB+ CyberWeek 12-17 October 2019 at the illustrious Emirates Palace to present their poster talks.

Cybersecurity threats and solutions for Smart Cities

Call for pre-proposals closes August 30th 2019

Strategic Partner

Advisory Partner

Dubai Electronic Security Center (DESC)

Knowledge Partners

Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation (MBRF)
New York University
Abu Dhabi
(NYU Abu Dhabi)
Abu Dhabi Polytechnic (ADPoly)
Sharjah University

For any queries, contact