Periodic Reporting for period 1 - POLARIS (Preventative OperationaL procedures for space weAtheR threats to CrItical InfraStructure)
Reporting period: 2014-12-01 to 2015-05-31
The primary objective of the POLARIS system is to provide a centralised web based preventative operational procedure alerting and delivery service for urban critical infrastructure (CI) facility operators to enhance projection against a range of known threats. According to our detailed market research undertaken in phase 1 the POLARIS system addresses a key CI industry problem where a range of threats need to be monitored but operators do not have the means to interpret these threats, process the information received, understand the relevant corrective actions and have effective coordination of activities to counteract the threat.
By outsourcing the threat monitoring to the POLARIS system and related service, the issues of not having in-house expertise and not having threat analysis experts for a range of categories is removed. The result is a more efficient CI operation, which is more secure from threats and which can allow the CI operator focus on their core business. Therefore, the POLARIS service presents a solution to the CI operator’s problem and provides a business opportunity for the provision of such a solution worldwide to the different domains within the CI industry as well as to other industries over time.
It is proposed that The POLARIS system will
• be the central point to receive threat information and perform analysis from the received information.
• The system will be modular based, which will allow different threat monitoring components to be plugged into the overall POLARIS system,
• Operate through a standardised interface and protocol
• This approach will provide great flexibility in the various categories of threats which can be monitored with the ability to introduce new monitoring components in the future.
The baseline system which will be developed in this project will integrate threat monitoring and alert components under the categories of: Critical Infrastructure computer network attack and intrusion detection, Earth Observation monitoring of Critical Infrastructure assets, Space weather event’ threat analysis and Critical Infrastructure sensor based threat detection
For each of the above threat monitoring and detection categories the POLARIS system solution developed within this project will interpret received alerts and generate preventive operational procedures that are tailored for the following domains: Power and water utility Critical Infrastructure operators and the Emergency response/Law enforcement personnel supporting CI operators
Two end user groups have already expressed a strong requirement for a POLARIS type system. and will work closely with Skytek in the end user requirements and testing phases of the project. The POLARIS system will provide these domains with threat alert and related standard preventative operational procedures tailored for the specific operator’s domain and in a format and language that the operator understands. This will facilitate the urban CI operator effectively and efficiently manage a CI threat with the exact internal processes and procedures that they need to follow. The urban CI operator will receive these preventative procedures in addition to the reasoning behind such alert issuance without the need to have threat detection and analysis experts on site with specific skills not relevant to their day to day operational requirements.
Polaris provides the current missing critical link between the monitoring of alerts, interpretation for different critical infrastructure facilities and the alerting and warning of such threats with the exact operations that the critical infrastructure operator is required to perform for prevention of such a threat. Polaris will provide a valuable framework to assist CI operrators adhere to current and emerging regulations and standards designed to improve CI resilience.
During Phase 1, Skytek undertook a detailed technical and market analysis of the CI industry (report attached). This involved detailed interviews with key CI operators, Government agencies and Major Emergency Management personnel. A thorough technical review was undertaken and proposed system architecture developed. The market opportunity for POLARIS was clearly examined. Competitors were explored and the value chain for the service developed. The financial viability of the project was assessed by the management team. A decision to proceed Phase 2 was agreed by Skytek senior management.
1. ASSESSMENT OF THE MARKET OPPORTUNITY
1.2 The innovation
1.3 What is Critical infrastructure
1.4 Types of threats
1.5 Requirements of critical infrastructure operators:
1.6 The Critical Infrastructure Market:
2 COMPETITIVE ANALYSIS
2.1 Unique selling proposition (USP)
2.2 Key competitors
2.3 Differentiation over competitors
2.4 Service Value Chain
3 POLARIS PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY
3.1 Polaris end users
3.2 Key Technical inputs to Polaris
3.3 Development approach
3.5 Critical risks for implementation
4 MARKET OVERVIEW:
4.1 Potential market
4.2 Customer buying behaviour:
4.3 Benefits of Polaris
5 SWOT ANALYSIS
6 MARKET ENTRY STRATEGY
6.1 Perceived barriers to entry
6.2 Polaris market entry strategy
7 FINANCIAL PLANNING
7.1 The total project costs for SME phase 2
7.2 Sales projections
7.3 Risks associated with the proposed project.
8 IPR, STANDARDS & REGULATORY ISSUES
8.1 IPR ownership
8.2 Technical Standards
Crucially, during Phase 1, two end users have expressed an interest in procuring a POLARIS type system and will be actively involved in the development of user requirements and system testing during Phase 2. Providing valuable test/showcase sites for the POLARIS systems
From discussions with critical Infrastructure operators, in the areas of energy installations and water sector operators, they have a strong current need for a service for alerting them to threats that they know exist which will have an impact on their CI facility but which currently they do not monitor of if monitored it is done using services which they do not have the internal organisational skills to effectively translate the information into relevant operational procedures within their facility.
Upon completion of the POLARUS phase 2 project a service at TRL 9 will be available which provides preventative operational procedures for the urban CI facility service providing information from a range of threat monitoring components and providing tailored preventative operational procedures as a result.
The main economic benefits to the end user operator of POLARIS are:
• Reduced costs – no need for specialised knowledge in house as is currently required. The POLARIS service is a managed service so the overhead is shared across the entire CI facilities user base.
• Greater service provision – through corrective and preventive procedures, provide the customers clients with a better level of service.
• Improve interoperability-Polaris will assist CI operators adhere to current and emerging industry standards. Improving interoperability among CI suppliers where critical interdependencies exist.
• Safety of life – better operational procedure management within the critical infrastructure providers in handling of threats.
• Effective planning – Mitigating possible damage and maximise uptime.
• Adherence to industry standards-Polaris will assist CI operators adhere to current and emerging industry standards
The unique selling point is that the service will provide a ‘system of systems’ to CI operators where a number of separate threat detections are being monitored and once an alert is triggered a tailored preventative operational procedure in the language of the end user is sent to them. This is unique in that the current offering focuses on one particular threat area and requires specific knowledge in the interpretation of the threat. This currently segmented market also provides an opportunity for Skytek to provide the POLARIS system as a unique offering whilst using beyond state of the art technologies.
The two main economic benefit to the end user operator is of POLARIS is firstly reduced cost in monitoring known threats compared to internal CI organisation monitoring of threats. The unique selling point is that the service will provide a ‘system of systems’ to CI operators where a number of separate threat detections are being monitored and once an alert is triggered a tailored preventative operational procedure in the language of the end user is sent to them. This is unique in that current offering focus on one particular threat area and require specific knowledge in the interpretation of the threat. This currently segmented market provides an opportunity for Skytek to provide the POLARIS system as a unique offering at using beyond state of the art technologies.
The Critical Infrastructure Protection market will grow from 46 billion Euro in 2013 to an expected 78 billion Euro in 2018 with a compound annual growth rate of 10.8%. It is a growing market in which urban CI facility operators understand the need for protection and threat detection and prevention. Therefore the POLARIS system and service will be deployed in a growing niche market whose client base can be effectively managed and targeted.
The key competitors that are currently in the CI threat protection marketplace exist at a level further down the value chain as to where the POLARIS system will exists. These major competitors in each of the current threat detection monitoring domains are for example:
• McAfree for Business within the network security and SCADA sensor alert detection - http://www.mcafee.com/us/solutions/critical-infrastructure/critical-infrastructure.aspx
• NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center for access to space weather events information - http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/
• QUCOMHAPS for Earth Observation monitoring for emergency situations.
However the key benefits for the POLARIS service is that with it being higher up the value chain it coverage all of the above areas through a single offering while in addition rather than just detecting and alerting an end user of a threat, tailored operational procedures are provided. The POLARIS system also allows for strategic alliances to be undertaken with any of the above companies to integrate their threat monitoring component into the modular POLARIS system.
The initial market segments for introduction of the service will be power infrastructure and water service CI facilities that require threat detection support through the initially identified threat detection components. The CI facility operators will be reached through effective marketing campaigns through identified CIP conferences, R&D technical journals, LinkedIn forums and connections with key influencer personnel, product web sites and use of social media for marketing and advertising of the service to CI facility operators.
Commercialising & Exploiting excellence in research:
During the last five years, the Skytek’s technical team has twice received NASA awards for outstanding innovation for their work on IPV. The POLARIS system affords Skytek the opportunity to take its key technologies and expertise to develop a unique, highly innovative commercial system for the CI industry. Skytek’s strong research foundation has enabled it develop strategic relationships with key security and critical infrastructure organisations across Europe and beyond. It has forged relationships with key system integrators such as BAE and AIRBUS defence and space. This affords Skytek the opportunity to explore the possibility of forging strategic alliances to bring POLARIS to the widest possible user groups.
The selected solutions range from:
• A space weather monitoring and alerting solution (FOREST)
• Operational Procedure generation and execution, forming part of the core POLARIS central service (iPV)
• Earth Observation interpretation and analysis (ANISTIAMO)
• Network intrusion detection and SCADA sensor monitoring (PRECYSE)
POLARIS is therefore highly relevant to the management team of Skytek as it is foreseen to take the four core technical innovations of Skytek stated above which can be integrated, adapted and extended to provide the complete infrastructure for the POLARIS service. Through this integration and technical extension approach it both reduces the technical risk and technical barriers for Skytek but which will result in a highly innovative and leading edge solution for threat analysis and response for CI facility operators.
The central objective of POLARIS is to develop a system that has strong commercial potential. The strategic objective is to commercialise Skytek research and allow the organisation to blossom into a highly successful commercial entity.
It is foreseen to initially focus on the EU market broadening to the non EU market from the second year. Additional revenue will be generated through technical support (20% of previous year’s sales), training and customisation/bespoke service (20% of revenue).
Start of commercialisation in expected in June 2017 after the completion of phase 2 development. Profit is expected to be generated in year three of the provision of the service. Breakeven points for the service regarding number of subscriptions is 96 subscriptions in 2018, 106 subscriptions in 2019 and 129 subscriptions in 2020.