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Creative minds focus on cyber security solutions

29th September 2017

Keeping children and young people safe and healthy online will be the focus of an innovative event taking place next month, organised by Northumbria University’s Creative Fuse team, Northumbria Police and Campus North.

Representatives from the North East’s creative, digital and IT sector will work together to find solutions to the problems associated with cyber wellbeing and cybercrime.

It is hoped some of the concepts created during the Cyber-Wellbeing Solution Hack event will be developed into real-world technologies and used by teachers and parents in schools and homes across the country in the future.

Around 50 people are expected to attend the event, which has been organised as one of many upcoming innovation support opportunities through Creative Fuse North East – a unique partnership between the region’s five universities.

Creative Fuse is a £4m Arts and Humanities Research Council-funded project which allows academics from Northumbria, Newcastle, Durham, Sunderland and Teesside universities to work with industry, cultural organisations, charities and the public sector. Together they explore how creative, digital and IT businesses can share best practice and encourage the adoption of new innovative working practices.

Dr Elena Gorman, Project Development Manager for Creative Fuse at Northumbria, said: “The Cyber-Wellbeing Solution Hack is a really exciting event which will bring together some of the best creative minds in the region, with the aim of finding some new and exciting solutions to some of the challenges with keeping young people safe online.

“As well as coming up with some great ideas the event will also be a good opportunity for creative, digital, and IT professionals in the region to make new connections and tap into cutting edge academic and creative research.”

The event has been organised in association with Northumbria Police and is part of an ongoing project between Creative Fuse North East and the police around raising public awareness of cyber security.

Detective Chief Superintendent Lisa Orchard, Head of Crime at Northumbria Police said: “We are really looking forward to seeing the ideas generated by this event. Working with Creative Fuse will allow us to access academic and IT professionals to come up with new and innovative solutions to some of our most challenging issues in keeping young people safe online.”

The theme of cybercrime has also been the focus of research by students from Northumbria’s Multidisciplinary Innovation Masters course, with a team of six recently undertaking a three-month project exploring the subject.

They focused specifically on teenagers, looking at current educational practices and the different habits, behaviours, perceptions and awareness between young people, teachers, and parents around cybercrime.

Their research uncovered a number of key challenges that will feed into the Cyber-Wellbeing Solution Hack and inform potential creative solutions. During a similar event recently held by the students, ideas generated included a coding challenge, a computer game and a regional competition, all designed to raise awareness of cyber security amongst teenagers.

The 12-hour Cyber-Wellbeing Solution Hack takes place on Saturday 14th October at Campus North, Newcastle. Lyndsey Britton, Co-Founder of Campus North, said: "Campus North is all about collaboration and bringing the digital community together to work on and develop innovative solutions. We're delighted to be supporting this hackathon, especially as it's to help solve such an important issue." 

Spaces for the event are still available; for more information and to book, visit

To find out more about Creative Fuse North East visit

For more information about Northumbria’s Multidisciplinary Innovation MA/MSc click here.

Northumbria has been assessed as world-leading and internationally-excellent for its research in evidence-based policing, with outstanding breadth and depth of expertise in contemporary policing across the University. Our work is informing policy and practice, provides wide-ranging, cutting-edge science and applied research, and is working in partnership with the police and other agencies regionally, nationally and internationally.

Northumbria’s research themes in the area of contemporary policing include Cybercrime & IT, Forensic Science & Police Cooperation, Police Organisation & Staff, Policing & Vulnerability.

Northumbria is hosting a series of public seminars hosted by academics working across the Northumbria Police Research & Education Network. The next seminar takes place on Wednesday 11 October, from 5pm to 6.30pm, and is entitled International Criminal Justice Cooperation and the Implications for Cross Border Policing. For more information and to book a place click here.

For more information about Northumbria’s Police Research & Education Network please visit


Earlier this year an event was held by Creative Fuse  as part of the British HCI Conference 2017. See what happened when makers, programmers, artists, designers and academics came together for 12 hours of Digital Make Believe.

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