The government says a new £13.5 million cyber innovation centre, located in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, will help secure the UK’s position as a global leader in the growing cyber security sector.
The London Cyber Innovation Centre has been designed to boost the East London digital cluster and spur the development of cutting-edge technology to keep the UK safe from online threats. Estimates suggest it could also help create 2,000 UK jobs in cyber security.
Startups chosen for the scheme will work with large firms as they identify cyber security challenges critical to their businesses. The government says this will help make sure the UK’s leading entrepreneurs are creating solutions large firms need as well as securing commercial contracts and crucial investment.
The centre will essentially act as a catalyst for startups and help the UK increase its slice of the global cyber security industry, forecast to be worth £69 billion in 2018.
Margot James, Minister for Digital and the Creative Industries, said: “London is the undisputed leader of European tech, with billions of investment flowing in every year and world-leading firms developing groundbreaking innovations.
“This new centre in the Olympic Park will build on the site’s legacy of excellence and spark a wave of creativity to develop the cyber security technology of the future and help protect the nation’s industry.”
The new centre will be run by Plexal from its Here East headquarters, and is being funded by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport as part of the Government’s five-year, £1.9 billion investment to keep the UK safe online.
It will offer a tailored programme of support to at least 72 companies over three years and is open to firms from across the UK. Other startups not on the programme will also be able to access the centre’s support and facilities.
Claire Cockerton, CEO and founder of Plexal, said: “The UK has a strong heritage in tech innovation and a fertile business environment for start-ups to grow. But our future international standing as a world-leading digitally-enabled economy depends on a robust and forward-thinking cyber security sector.
“The centre will help this to develop by delivering bespoke business development programmes, engineering resource, professional services, access to corporate buyers and ambitious investors. Our mission is to bring the whole industry together to accelerate innovation, entrepreneurship and business growth for UK PLC.”
Robert Hannigan, former director of GCHQ, said: “The London Cyber Innovation Centre will be the launch pad for a whole generation of new cyber security companies, benefiting both the UK’s economy and its security. By combining academic excellence, expertise in innovation and access to investment, the Centre is uniquely placed to secure this country’s preeminent position in cyber security.”