New government scheme to provide boost for cyber-security startups

The UK government has announced a new programme which will support cyber-security start-ups in order to help develop innovative technical solutions to keep the UK safe from cyber-attacks. Running in partnership with Cyber London and the Centre for Secure Information Technologies, it will operate out of the Queen's University campus in Belfast.

Armed with a £250,000 budget, it is the first of its kind for the UK cyber-security sector. The Early Stage Accelerator Programme will aim to help start-ups that want to offer cyber-security solutions all the help, advice and support they would need to bring their product to market.

It is part of the government's wider strategy to promote the UK cyber-security industry which has grown rapidly in recent years and is now worth £17.6bn – up 70 percent since 2013 – and employs over 100,000 people. The programme will be open to applicants in March.

Speaking at the joint UK/US Global Cyber Security Innovation Summit at the British Museum London, John Whittingdale, secretary of state for culture, media and sport said, “The UK's strong and growing digital economy is changing the way we live and work. As technologies continue to evolve there will be an increased demand for secure products and services, and this new programme will ensure the best ideas from our brightest minds can help keep the UK safe in cyber-space. I'm delighted to announce Cyber London and CSIT Belfast as partners in running this new programme.”

Stephen Wray, commercial director of CSIT, which will co-run the programme said, “CSIT is delighted to partner with Cyber London on this programme. CSIT and Cyber London are at the heart of the UK's cyber-security start-up ecosystem and together we bring a strength of cyber capability, a track record of producing and nurturing start-ups, and an ability to leverage significant additional industry and innovation support partnerships from across the globe.”

Kirsten Connell of Cyber London, which will co-run the programme added, “Naturally we're very pleased that Cyber London and CSIT have been selected to deliver the Cyber Security Early Stage Accelerator Programme. We believe the UK is one of the world's best places to build cyber-security businesses, and this programme will help to make it easier for innovation to develop into commercial success.”