The Government has launched a new programme to encourage and support cyber security start-ups in a bid to keep the UK safe from cyber attacks.
Start-ups that want to offer cyber security solutions will be able to get help, advice and support to develop their products and services and bring them to market via the Early Stage Accelerator Programme.
The £250,000 programme is the first of its kind for the UK cyber security sector. It will be run in partnership with Cyber London and the Centre for Secure Information Technologies (CSIT) at Queen's University Belfast.
Launching the scheme, John Whittingdale, secretary of state for culture, media and sport, said: "As technologies continue to evolve there will be an increased demand for secure products and services, and this new programme will ensure the best ideas from our brightest minds can help keep the UK safe in cyberspace."
The new programme aims to:
- Increase the rate of new cyber security start-up development in the UK;
- Help entrepreneurs develop, test and validate the commercial viability of their ideas and turn them into businesses;
- Help identify new business ideas from the UK's leading cyber security knowledge base;
- Provide a space for collaboration with early stage start-ups as they develop.
Funded by the Government's National Cyber Security Programme, this initiative will support ideas that may currently struggle to gain investment funding because they are at an early stage and are not yet fully developed.
It is part of the Government's wider strategy to promote the UK cyber security industry, which has grown rapidly in recent years and is now worth £17.6bn - up 70% since 2013 - and employs over 100,000 people. The programme will be open to applicants in March.
Kirsten Connell, of Cyber London, said: "We believe the UK is one of the world's best places to build cyber security businesses, and this programme will help to make it easier for innovation to develop into commercial success."
The Government recently announced a new £1.9bn investment in cyber security to make the UK one of the best-protected countries in cyberspace.
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