University of St Andrews awarded £1.5m for new SafePod Network

07 May 2019

A SafePod is compact allowing easy installation where space is an issue

A SafePod is compact allowing easy installation where space is an issue

The University of St Andrews has received £1.5m from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) to create and manage a new SafePod Network (SPN).

Designed and developed at the Scottish university, a SafePod replicates a traditional safe setting and includes security features such as a door control access system, CCTV camera and secure storage areas for IT equipment.

The idea is to improve public benefit research through the provision of micro safe settings (known as SafePods), which will support, strengthen and widen remote access to research datasets held by data centres spanning the length and breadth of the UK.

No datasets are kept within a SafePod, so instead a secure connection links it to a data centre for researchers to access, view and analyse their project datasets. A SafePod is compact in size so it can be easily placed in organisations where space is an issue.

Darren Lightfoot, SPN manager at the University of St Andrews, said the major benefit of a SafePod to a researcher is that they will be able to have local remote access to project datasets, without the need for long distance travel to a dedicated safe setting provided by a data centre.

“For a participating data centre, SPN provides a low-cost secure platform to widen access to their datasets across the UK for research purposes,” Lightfoot said. “As a SafePod design and policies are standardised, a single accreditation for use of a SafePod by a data centre is all that is required for them to accredit the full network of SafePods.”

Eligible organisations can apply for a SafePod and to be part of the SafePod Network. For further details visit the ESRC website –