New boost to help our best brainpower create cutting-edge cyber defences

The government is boosting its fight against the growing cyber threat by introducing a new programme that aims to connect industry and academics to develop the next generation of cyber security technology.

The Academic StartUp initiative will arm academics with the knowhow and support to turn cutting-edge research ideas into commercial products and fast-track British ideas to market.

Speaking in Israel to promote UK-Israel relations and visit the country’s National Cyber Directorate, Minister of State for Digital and Culture Matt Hancock, said: “Creating a thriving and innovative cyber security industry is all part of work to make the UK the safest place to live and do business online.

“This Academic StartUp programme will help turn our world-class research into world-class products and stimulate the development of our cyber security industry.”

The scheme, funded and delivered by Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) in partnership with the UK’s innovation agency Innovate UK, will make sure as many good ideas as possible make it off the drawing board and into reality.

This will help the country’s cyber security sector which contributed £1.8bn in exports to the economy last year and was worth almost £22 billion. The initiative is part of the Government’s £1.9bn national cyber security strategy, which aims to make the UK the safest place to live and do business online and includes opening a new National Cyber Security Centre.

Innovate UK, working the SETsquared Partnership, will receive £500k funding from DCMS to extend its existing ICURe (Innovation to Commercialisation of University Research) programme to include a cyber security strand.

The scheme has previously helped Zeetta Networks, a spin-out company from the University of Bristol, secure venture capital funding to develop ultra-HD video distribution, city-wide Wi-Fi and Internet of Things (IoT) devices.

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