Prof. Dr.–Ing. Tibor Jager, leader of the specialist group for IT security, has received the "ERC Starting Grant" this year. This promotion of the European Research Council (ERC) is doped with 1.5 million Euros and supports young researchers from all fields of work with their projects for more than five years. This long–term nature of the promotion is what delights Prof. Jager the most: "What I especially like is that one receives a lot of support for five years, in particular concerning the staff. A lot of funding procedures amount two or three years which is enough for a stepwise progress. If one would like to take a really big step and to make a difference, one usually needs more than manpower and little bit more time. The ERC Starting Grant is designed for it; I find it quite useful. This is also why I’m very happy that it has worked out!"
In Brussels Prof. Jager presented his research idea in front of 30 members of the selection committee which count to the top european computer scientists. He has submitted his project "REWOCRYPT – Theoretically–Sound Real–World Cryptography". It is located at the interface of theoretical and practical cryptography which turned out as very important during the research so far, but equally complicated: "In practise we need security before use. We have understood the theoretical part well in the past 40 years, a lot has developed from it; unfortunately in the practice the cryptography breaks too many times. This project is about to take big step from the theoretically–isolated world to the real world. The solid, theoretical basis has to be used in the real world, so that a secure usage can be created.“, Prof. Jager underlines. „Secure usage“ isn’t only about computer programs alone, but also deals with highly topical, future–orientated and socially relevant topics in particular: "In future we talk about self–propelled cars which communicated with one another; we even think about to provide a pacemaker with a wireless network–interface, so the doctor can read out the data. To make it secure one needs cryptography so that for example an attacker can’t manipulate the pacemaker."
Therefore Prof. Jager is busy for the upcoming five years. "It will be a lot of work, but I look forward to working upon this research project together with my team and interessted students!"