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A global open call has been launched by the London Office for Rapid Cybersecurity Advancement (LORCA) for its fifth cohort of cyber-scaleups. The selection criteria will be focused on companies which aim to solve issues brought to the fore by the COVID-19 pandemic, such as tackling disinformation and improving the security of remote working.

LORCA, which began in June 2018 with UK government funding, has run its year-long accelerator program four times previously. These have been highly successful, with venture capital investment in LORCA companies standing at over £86m. Delivered by Plexal, the innovation centre at Here East in the Olympic Park, the program aims to develop the UK cybersecurity sector, enhancing overall internet safety.

For this new program, LORCA is particularly keen to invite applications from scaleups that are taking on the complex cyber-threats people are facing in an increasingly hyper-connected world, securing the digital safety of individual citizens. These types of challenges have been emphasised by the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Louise Cushnahan, head of innovation, Centre for Secure Information Technologies (CSIT), a LORCA delivery partner, commented: “At this time of COVID-19 related international emergency we are seeing the online spread of disinformation aggravate the public health crisis, rapid adoption of remote working putting pressure on information security and malicious actors seeking to take advantage of weak links in cybersecurity and overburdened IT teams.”

Those selected will receive business mentoring, connections to investors, support in accessing new markets and growing an international presence, as well as access to commercial and engineering expertise from LORCA’s delivery partners.

Saj Huq, program director, LORCA, said: “As well as meeting the needs of industry today, LORCA catalyzes innovation that caters to the cybersecurity challenges on the horizon that will intersect both society and business and require new models of collaboration to solve.”

In light of COVID-19, all course curriculum and some events in this program will be delivered virtually.

The deadline for applying is Monday May 4 2020, with full details available here.

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