Government to foster 70 start-ups at £13m London cyber centre
Development in Stratford could create 2,000 jobs, government claims
The centre will be based at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford in east London Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Archive/PA Images
The government is putting £13.5m into the creation of the London Cyber Innovation Centre, which it claims could create 2,000 jobs and establish the UK as a global leader in cybersecurity.
The centre, which was officially launched this week, is conceived as a hothouse for start-ups, who will be given the chance to work with large companies in trying to define and solve the key cybersecurity challenges currently facing organisations. Up to 72 companies will be chosen to receive a three-year programme of bespoke support. Other start-ups will also be able to use the facilities.
The centre will be based at the 1.2 million square feet Here East development at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford. The centre will be run by “innovation community” Plexal, an existing tenant of Here East, a development that brings together a range of tech, media, and education organisations, including both start-ups and large firms.
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The Centre for Secure Information Technologies of Queen’s University Belfast and consultancy Deloitte will help Plexal run the London Cyber Innovation Centre.
Margot James, minister for digital and the creative industries, said: “London is the undisputed leader of European tech, with billions of investment flowing in every year and world-leading firms developing groundbreaking innovations. This new centre in the Olympic Park will build on the site’s legacy of excellence and spark a wave of creativity to develop the cybersecurity technology of the future and help protect the nation’s industry.”
The government claimed that technology companies were founded in London at the rate of one an hour in 2017. This would equate to an annual total of 8,760.
Robert Hannigan, who served as director of GCHQ from 2014 to 2017, said that the centre “will be the launch pad for a whole generation of new cybersecurity companies”.
“By combining academic excellence, expertise in innovation and access to investment, the centre is uniquely placed to secure this country’s preeminent position in cybersecurity,” he added.
The London site will be the second such facility opened by the government, following the establishment last year of a centre in Cheltenham, which houses the GCHQ Cyber Accelerator scheme for tech start-ups.
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Contract came with an initial seven-year potential term but will now run until 2022