UK Government launches second cyber accelerator programme
The UK Government has just launched a cyber accelerator programme, which will focus on assisting start-ups that are involved in creating state-of-the-art cybersecurity systems.
This is the second accelerator programme to be started by the Government. The first one was also for cybersecurity start-ups and entrepreneurs, and it focused on increasing sales and business development and getting investments from third parties. Around seven start-ups graduated from the programme in March 2017.
These seven companies were offered support in all areas of their business. This included mentoring, office space, a range of business services and unfettered access to technical as well as personnel expertise from the GCHQ and Telefonica. In addition, the companies were awarded cybersecurity contracts by the Government; and they also managed to secure projects from big businesses besides participating in funding rounds.
The latest accelerator programme will be longer in duration compared to the first one and will offer participants technical and personnel expertise from the GCHQ and the National Cyber Security Centre. This will help them improve their work-related capabilities and come up with innovative cybersecurity products.
This accelerator programme is part of the UK Government’s initiative to give the cybersecurity industry in the country a boost. Presently, the industry is worth about £22 billion and contributes £2 billion annually to the British economy.
The UK Government intends to open two innovation centres. The first is the Cheltenham Innovation Centre, while the second one will open in London later in the year.
The accelerator programme will be delivered by Wayra UK, which is part of Telefonica Open Future, along with GCHQ, the Department for Digital Culture, Media and Sports and the National Cyber Security Centre. The start-ups that participate in the accelerator programme will learn about the best cybersecurity practices and also earn accreditation.
Matt Hancock, Digital Minister, said that the accelerator programme is indicative of the UK Government’s commitment to help digital businesses and make the digital economy safe.