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UK: World-leading cyber centre to be developed in London’s Olympic Park

New centre will be a catalyst for growing tech cluster and could help create 2,000 UK jobs in cyber security.

Government Press Release 10 Apr 2018, 07:40 PM United Kingdom
UK: World-leading cyber centre to be developed in London’s Olympic Park
  • Startups chosen for the scheme will work with large firms as they identify cybersecurity challenges critical to their businesses. (Image Credit: Government of UK)

A new world-first £13.5 million cyber innovation center, located in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, will help secure the UK’s position as a global leader in the growing cyber security sector.

The London Cyber Innovation Centre will boost the thriving East London digital cluster and spur the development of cutting-edge technology to keep the nation safe from online threats. Estimates suggest it could also help create 2,000 UK jobs in cybersecurity.

Startups chosen for the scheme will work with large firms as they identify cybersecurity challenges critical to their businesses. This will help make sure the UK’s leading entrepreneurs are creating solutions large firms need as well as securing commercial contracts and crucial investment.

A tech company was formed every hour in London in 2017 and firms attracted almost £3 billion in venture capital investment. The center will act as a catalyst for startups and help the UK increase its slice of the global cyber security industry forecast to be worth £69 billion in 2018. 

Margot James, Minister for Digital and the Creative Industries, said:

“London is the undisputed leader of European tech, with billions of investment flowing in every year and world-leading firms developing groundbreaking innovations.

“This new center in the Olympic Park will build on the site’s legacy of excellence and spark a wave of creativity to develop the cybersecurity technology of the future and help protect the nation’s industry.”

The new center will be run by Plexal from its Here East headquarters and is being funded by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport as part of the Government’s five-year, £1.9 billion investment to keep the UK safe online.

The center will offer a tailored programme of support to at least 72 companies over three years and is open to firms from across the UK. Other startups not on the programme will also be able to access the center’s support and facilities.

Those chosen for the scheme will benefit from dedicated technical and engineering support from some of the world’s leading authorities on cybersecurity, state-of-the-art technology facilities and mentoring and professional business advice. They will also have access to an international network of cyber clusters to bring trade and investment opportunities on a global scale.

Claire Cockerton, CEO and founder of Plexal, said:

“The UK has a strong heritage in tech innovation and a fertile business environment for start-ups to grow. But our future international standing as a world-leading digitally-enabled economy depends on a robust and forward-thinking cyber security sector.

“The center will help this to develop by delivering bespoke business development programmes, engineering resource, professional services, access to corporate buyers and ambitious investors. Our mission is to bring the whole industry together to accelerate innovation, entrepreneurship and business growth for UK PLC.”

Robert Hannigan, former director of GCHQ, said:

“The London Cyber Innovation Centre will be the launch pad for a whole generation of new cybersecurity companies, benefiting both the UK’s economy and its security. By combining academic excellence, expertise in innovation and access to investment, the Centre is uniquely placed to secure this country’s preeminent position in cybersecurity.”

Alan Foreman, CEO B-Secur, said: 

“I am thrilled to hear about the creation of the London Cyber Innovation Centre. It will offer a great platform for start-up in the cyber sector. Centers of this nature will be instrumental in the growth of cybersecurity innovators across the UK and I really look forward to getting involved in LCIC.”