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UK and US join forces to tackle cyber crime
Heather Church - September 16, 2014

Business Secretary to announce £4 million of funding to counter cyber security threats at first ever US-UK cyber innovation summit.

New government funding will help small businesses in the UK cyber sector to grow, collaborate and develop new solutions to tackle cyber threats, Business Secretary Vince Cable announced.

Speaking at the first ever US-UK Global Cyber Security Innovation Summit in London, the Business Secretary announced a £4 million competition for UK cyber businesses to develop ideas to tackle cyber security threats. He will also announce the appointment of a cyber security small business champion, and funding for projects that will drive growth and innovation in the sector. The competition will be run by the Technology Strategy Board, the government’s innovation agency, in 2015, which will award funding to the firms with the best ideas.

Ahead of the summit, Business Secretary Vince Cable said:

“The growth of the cyber security sector in the UK is a great success story, worth over £6 billion and employing around 40,000 people. Building a strong and resilient cyberspace in the UK is central to ensuring that our companies can make the most of business opportunities online, whilst avoiding potentially costly threats to the information they hold and the services they provide.

Maintaining innovation and growth requires continued investment. Committing a further £4 million will help businesses of all sizes turn their ideas to counter cyber threats into reality. Partnering with industry experts will also increase the opportunities for the UK’s small cyber companies to work together and grow their businesses.”

The Business Secretary will announce the appointment of cyber security small business champion, Andy Williams, an industry expert from the UK’s largest technology trade association techUK. Andy will be responsible for mapping cyber security small businesses, and will set up a UK wide growth project to encourage them to work closer together. His role will also involve working to showcase the capability of small and medium sized cyber businesses at UK and international events, delivering business advice and establishing an online portal to share information about national initiatives with the cyber business community.

Andy Williams said:

“Given the rapidly evolving global cyber threat landscape, the emergence of highly innovative and agile new companies with specialist cyber capability will be vital to ensuring the future safety and prosperity of the UK. The extra funding that BIS is providing to support cyber start-ups and small business will be key to ensuring the UK’s position as a global leader in cyber security.”

The Business Secretary will also announce that Dr Emma Philpott, managing director of cyber and technology catalyst Key IQ, will lead a project to actively work with local volunteers to establish regional clusters of small companies working in cyber security. This network of clusters will link the small and medium sized businesses to national opportunities and events while giving them a collective voice. She will bring considerable expertise to the role as the founder of both the Malvern cyber security cluster and the UK Cyber Security Forum.

Dr Emma Philpott said:

“Small companies working in cyber security are active all across the UK. The clusters we are helping to set up will meet monthly, be free to join and give their members an opportunity to network together and partner each other. We have had enormous enthusiasm for this already and groups are already planned for 5 new regions.”

Both projects will be delivered through the Cyber Growth Partnership which is a forum of government representatives, academia cyber security companies and trade bodies working to support the sector in the UK.

The Business Secretary will make the announcements to 250 senior members of government and industry attending the 2 day event at the British Museum. The summit is supported by the UK and US governments and brings together representatives of British and American government and business to encourage the creation of new partnerships and projects to tackle threats to our cyberspace.