Cyber Innovators Help Protect U.K. Connected Places

Tech entrepreneurs are receiving support from the U.K.’s top cybersecurity experts to help protect the country’s connected places of the future.

Thanks to their innovative ideas the start-ups have gained a place on the Cyber Accelerator program, a joint initiative between the U.K. National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) – a part of GCHQ – and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

Cyber Accelerator provides companies with the support and expertise to develop their products, which in the latest round are all designed to protect the interconnected systems that connected places – also known as smart cities – depend on to function efficiently.

The products include software to help organizations with incident response, and systems that monitor and flag real-time threats. They have the potential to benefit not only the U.K. but countries around the world.

Since the Accelerator program began, 40 companies have been successfully mentored by the scheme, raising more than £90m in funding. The latest start-ups will be the seventh group to benefit from the program, and for the first time will be a mixture of new companies and Accelerator alumni, whose expertise lie in securing critical assets.

Chris Ensor, NCSC Deputy Director for Growth, said: “Connected places have huge potential to benefit society, and it’s great to see these companies come forward with such innovative security ideas. The Cyber Accelerator program will provide excellent support in helping them reach the next level, as it has done with numerous start-ups in the past. We look forward to working with these and other pioneering companies in future to address the U.K.’s evolving cybersecurity challenges.”

The ten-week scheme, which is to be held entirely virtually, enables tech entrepreneurs to play their part in helping make the U.K. a safer place to live and work online, as well as encouraging skills and jobs to boost the country’s economic growth.

Matt Warman, Minister for Digital Infrastructure, said: “The UK cybersecurity industry is booming and will play a key role as cutting-edge technology transforms economies across the globe. The Cyber Accelerator is a fantastic scheme that enables innovators to develop their businesses and reach their full potential. The government is committed to supporting tech companies of all sizes to grow so together we can build back better from the pandemic.”

This is the seventh cohort of the Cyber Accelerator program, which is part of the U.K. government’s £1.9billion National Cyber Security Strategy. Those companies participating benefit from the technical expertise of the NCSC and will be given the chance to pitch their ideas to potential clients and investors.

The scheme is being delivered with Wayra, Telefónica’s open innovation arm supporting enterprises creating new products for the U.K.’s security industry.

The start-ups receive benefits to help them scale all aspects of their businesses, including funding, office space, and contact with an extensive investor network.

The companies in this cohort of the program are Awen Collective, Cyber Defence Service, and WatchKeeper International.

Find out more at NCSC

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The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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