The new GCHQ Cyber Accelerator, powered by Wayra UK, is ready for its official launch today, with seven cyber security startups selected to join.
The accelerator, part of the Government’s new Cheltenham Cyber Innovation Centre, will help keep the UK secure online, enable companies to produce the next generation of cyber security systems, and boost the country’s £22 billion cyber security sector, which currently contributes around £2 billion a year in exports to the UK economy.
The accelerator has been borne out of a partnership between GCHQ, the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), and Wayra UK, the leading UK corporate accelerator that is part of the global Telefónica Open Future_ network.
Companies selected to join the accelerator will now begin a three-month development programme, which will equip them with benefits to help them scale all aspects of their businesses, including mentoring, contact with an extensive investor network, office space within the new GCHQ Cyber Accelerator, and access to GCHQ’s world-class personnel and technical expertise. The Minister of State for Digital and Culture Matt Hancock MP said,
I congratulate all the companies selected to join the new accelerator facility which is now open for business. This is an important step in delivering our National Cyber Security Strategy, and supported by £1.9bn transformative investment in cyber security. Based in Cheltenham, the accelerator will help UK entrepreneurs create cutting-edge technology to better protect the nation from cyber attacks and make going online safer for all.
Gary Stewart, Director at Wayra UK and Telefónica Open Future_ (UK), also added,
The opening of the GCHQ Cyber Accelerator is a significant step forward for the UK’s ambitions to be a global hub for cyber talent. By bringing together GCHQ’s world-class security expertise and pairing it with Wayra’s track record in accelerating businesses, we will give entrepreneurs with exceptional cyber security ideas the opportunity to develop them in the best possible environment.
Gary further says this accelerator could have a huge impact on the global cyber security sector, generating the next generation of systems that will make everyone’s online experience safer and more secure.
The new accelerator is now a part of the Cheltenham Innovation Centre, the first of two world-leading innovation centres to be created as part of the Government’s National Cyber Security Programme. A second innovation centre is slated to open in London later this year. DCMS is contributing up to £50 million over the next five years to deliver the two innovation centres. The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) is the UK’s foremost authority on cyber security. According to Chris Ensor, NCSC Deputy Director for Cyber Security Skills and Growth,
The accelerator will combine GCHQ’s understanding of the challenges and deep expertise in cyber security with innovative and cutting edge companies. It will help to develop the next generation of security technologies needed to keep us all safe in cyber space.
Joining the GCHQ Cyber Accelerator are the following companies:
- CounterCraft, a counterintelligence company which protects large organisations with a cyber security deception platform, misleading potential threats with decoy computers, false data and fake identities.
- Cyberowl, a breakthrough early-warning system for cyber attacks, incorporating advanced security analytics and heuristic methods.
- Cybersmart, a platform that automates implementation, certification and compliance with cyber security standards,
- FutureScaper, a collective intelligence platform that provides data visualisations in order to make sense of complex, uncertain, or volatile issues.
- Spherical Defence, a Banking API intrusion detection system that makes use of deep learning to detect hacking attempts by establishing a baseline of normal communication.
- StatusToday provides an AI-powered intelligence platform to understand human behaviour in the workplace, boosting security against insider attacks and detecting inadvertent mistakes.
- Verimuchme, a digital wallet and exchange platform to secure, verify and re-use personal information. Through ID-based crypto-technology, individuals and enterprises are linked to personal information that can be shared digitally over and over again.
The stage is now set for a three month development period that will hopefully nurture these enterprises and draw out their best services for cybersecurity.