The government is investing £13.5m in a new cyber innovation centre, in a bid to accelerate the rollout of new technologies and position the UK as a leader in the burgeoning sector.
The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has selected Plexal, a technology hub in London’s Olympic Park, to be the home of the centre, which will open in June and could create up to 2,000 jobs.
Over three and a half years, the centre will incubate more than 70 startups, pairing them with big businesses that require creative solutions to major security challenges. A board led by former GCHQ director Robert Hannigan will provide an advisory role to the centre – while Plexal will work with Deloitte’s cyber team and the Centre for Secure Information Technologies (CSIT) at Queen’s University Belfast to deliver the programme.
“London is the undisputed leader of European tech, with billions of investment flowing in every year and world-leading firms developing groundbreaking innovations,” said digital minister Margot James. “This new centre in the Olympic Park will build on the site’s legacy of excellence and spark a wave of creativity to develop tomorrow’s technology and protect the nation from the increasing cyber threat.”
The first cohort of startups will be welcomed to the centre in June and prospective participants have been invited to register their interest in the project online. “We’ll provide each company with a bespoke programme of support, covering professional services, legal accounting, brand marketing, business mentoring,” Plexal CEO Claire Cockerton told NS Tech. “Then we’re utilising CSIT’s specialist engineering resource. All the companies incubated will have access to engineers to help them push forward product development.”