Government to set up cyber security innovation centre

DCMS provides £14.5 million to support business development effort with aim of opening doors early next year

A new cyber security innovation centre is to be set up in London backed by a £14.5 million investment over the next three years by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

Cyber security letters on screenIt has launched a competition to develop and design the new centre, saying it will bolster the UK’s cyber security defences and support the growth of digital businesses.

The centre will provide a space for large firms to work with start-ups and industry experts to develop the new cyber security technologies. Start-ups will obtain access to expert technical mentoring, business support and advice to help them to grow in their early stages.

DCMS aims to open the centre early next year.

Minister for Digital Matt Hancock said: “London is one of the world’s most important tech sectors, with a record £5.6 billion investment in the industry in the past six months and a new tech firm formed every hour in the capital.

“Our investment in a new cyber innovation centre will not only cement the city’s position as a world leader but also boost the whole country by giving UK firms access to the latest cyber technology and allowing start-ups to get the support they need to develop.

“The new centre will build on London’s thriving digital start-up scene with one tech company estimated to be formed every hour in the capital. The city is also home to the headquarters of the newly created National Cyber Security Centre - a part of GCHQ - which opened earlier this year.”

GCHQ effort

The announcement follows the opening earlier this year of an innovation centre in Cheltenham with the launch of the GCHQ Cyber Accelerator programme. Seven start-ups have so far graduated from the programme with a competition to find the next cohort due to close on 9 August.

It also confirms the significance of London in the country’s efforts to strengthen cyber security, following the opening of the National Cyber Security Centre in October of last year to coordinate the response to major threats.

In the past few weeks London has also been confirmed as the site for new research projects to explore security around the internet of things (IoT). The projects are part of a £25 million national investment over three years and are funded by the PETRAS Research Hub (led by University College London), as part of the Government funded IoT UK research and innovation programme, as well as Lloyds Register Foundation, industry and public sector organisations.

Image: Harland Quarrington/MoD, Open Government Licence v1.0 through Wikimedia