The UK government has announced the Cyber Security Early Stage Accelerator Programme, or ‘Cyber Safe’, that will offer advice and support to security startups.
The scheme will be managed in partnership with Cyber London and the Centre for Secure Information Technologies (CSIT) at Queen’s University Belfast. It has received funding of £250,000 as part of the Early Stage Accelerator Programme and will be open to applicants from March.
The scheme is designed to increase the rate of new security startup development in the UK, identify new business ideas from the UK’s leading security firms and provide support for security entrepreneurs.
The funding is part of the National Cyber Security Programme and will support ideas that may currently struggle to gain investment because they are at an early stage or not yet fully developed, according to the government.
“The UK’s strong and growing digital economy is changing the way we live and work,” said John Whittingdale, secretary of state for culture, media and sport.
“As technologies continue to evolve there will be an increased demand for secure products and services, and this new programme will ensure that the best ideas from our brightest minds can help keep the UK safe in cyber space. I’m delighted to announce Cyber London and CSIT Belfast as partners in running this new programme.”
Stephen Wray, commercial director of CSIT, added: “CSIT and Cyber London are at the heart of the UK’s cyber security startup ecosystem and together we bring a strength in cyber capability, a track record of producing and nurturing startups, and an ability to leverage significant additional industry and innovation support partnerships from across the globe.”
Kirsten Connell, managing director of Cyber London, said: “Naturally we’re very pleased that Cyber London and CSIT have been selected to deliver the Cyber Security Early Stage Accelerator Programme.
“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 move is part of the government’s wider strategy to promote the UK security industry, and chancellor George Osborne recently announced a £1.9bn investment for the purpose.
GCHQ, meanwhile, launched a series of summer schools to train the next generation of computer experts. The programme offers wannabe cyber spooks the chance to develop their skills while learning how the agency protects the UK against threats.

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