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December 21, 2016updated 12 Jul 2022 5:02am

UK Gov scheme will fast track tech to boost £22bn cyber sector

Turning Boffin's brains into booming business.

By Hannah Williams

The UK is to further cement its place as world leader in fighting the growing cyber threat with a new programme to connect industry and academics to develop the next generation of cyber security technology.

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


The scheme, which is 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.

It is to help the country’s cyber security sector – which contributed £1.8 billion in exports to the economy last year – and as worth almost £22 billion.

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 initiative is part of the Government’s £1.9 billion 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.

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In a speech in Israel for the promotion of UK-Israel relations, Matt Hancock, Minister of State for Digital and Culture 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 Start-up programme will help turn our world-class research into world-class products and stimulate the development of our cyber security industry.”

Zetta Networks, which has previously been assisted by the scheme, is a spin-out company from the University of Bristol. The scheme helped in securing venture capital funding to develop ultra-HD video distribution, city-wide Wi-Fi and IoT devices.


Paul Mason, Director for Emerging and Enabling Technologies, Innovate UK said: “The UK now has the opportunity to become a world leader in cyber security, creating jobs and driving productivity and growth. This latest programme will help fund the ideas with the greatest market potential from our world-class research base and support their development into new cyber security products and processes.”

The scheme concludes that no new specific legislation is required, but sets out some additional new measures to encourage businesses to improve their cyber security and also recognise the importance of the forthcoming GDPR in requiring organisations to take action.

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