GCHQ, Telefonica partner on UK cyber security start-up accelerator

Start-ups can apply through an online portal from Friday 23 September, with the closing date for entries 17 October.

GCHQ and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) are launching a start-up accelerator that will aim to boost the UK’s cyber security sector.

The UK Government agencies have partnered with Wayra UK, part of Telefonica Open Future, to help UK start-ups grow from early stages by connecting them with partners and securing third-party investment.

The successful applicants will receive a grant with Wayra UK and physical space to work in.

From the Government side, there will be the opportunity to receive insights into Government procurement processes, IP management, export controls and information assurance architecture. There will be the opportunity to pitch products and services to Government departments including the Ministry of Defence and GCHQ’s national and international commercial partners.

Participants will also be able to gain a fast-track cyber product assessment and Cyber Essential accreditation.

Start-ups can apply through an online portal from Friday 23 September, with the closing date for entries 17 October.

The programme will begin in early 2017.

The new programme follows previous announcements of innovation centres, funded through the Government’s £1.9 billion National Cyber Security Programme.

From October 2016, a new National Cyber Security Centre will head up the UK’s cyber security efforts, unifying previously disparate bodies handling cyber security.

According to a statement from GCHQ, it aims to “reduce the cyber security risk to the UK; respond effectively to cyber incidents; understand the UK’s cyber security environment, sharing knowledge, addressing systemic vulnerabilities and nurture the UK’s cyber security capability, providing leadership on key national cyber security issues.”

“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 Matt Hancock, Minister of State for Digital and Culture.

“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.”


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