GCHQ And DCMS Join Forces With Cyber Security Startups

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The new Accelerator centre will help startups develop cyber security systems with the help of £50 million of government funding

GCHQ, and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) have launched a partnership to open a cyber innovation centre for facilitating work with startups to develop cyber security technology.

Dubbed Accelerator, the centre is the first of two which will receive £50 million over the next fiver years in order to fund the work of the startups and give them access to GCHQ’s personnel and technological expertise in order to expand the capability, product development and ideas around how the UK can outpace current and emerging cyber threats.

Wayra UK, part of the Telefónica Open Future programme, has been selected to run the cyber security accelerator centre and will lead the startup in the development of new cyber security systems.

Boosting UK cyber security

cyber_securityAccelerator has been born out of the government’s £1.9 billion National Cyber Security programme designed to bolster the UK’s cyber defences and help fuel the UK’s booming cyber security sector which contributed £1.8 billion in export to the UK economy last year.

“We are making progress in our ambitious programme to support innovation in cyber security, grow the UK’s thriving sector and protect Britain from cyber attacks and threats,” said Minister of State for Digital and Culture Matt Hancock MP.

“Our two new Cyber Innovation Centres will bring together government, academic and business expertise, and will be invaluable in helping support start-up companies and develop world-class cyber technology’.”

Go West

The Accelerator centre will be based at Cheltenham, the home of GCHQ, and is due to open around the New Year. The second centre is set to open in London in 2017. Startup can now apply for a place in the centres.

Given how a massive data leak at Yahoo has demonstrated the danger of ineffective cyber defences, it is no surprise the government is looking to ensure the UK’s technology companies are looking to defend against such hack attacks and cyber weaknesses.

The government’s involvement in technology startup centres is nothing new, with government-backed Digital Catapult centres across the UK designed to foster innovation in and beyond London.

The latest Digital Catapult initiative has seen is turn toward the Internet of Things (IoT) to create a Low Power Wide Area Network in London to support the development of the IoT and machine-to-machine applications.

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