Startups specialising in tech are being called upon to join the UK’s cybersecurity experts to help keep people safe online through a new initiative.
The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has announced the opening of applications for NCSC for Startups, an initiative that allows tech startups to help develop products to “defend critical areas of our economy and society”.
Startups accepted onto the programme will be given the chance to develop and pilot tech that aims to protect the country from malicious activity, including phishing and ransomware attacks.
The new initiative follows on from the NCSC’s Cyber Accelerator programme, which helped more than 40 tech companies raise more than £100 million in external investments.
NCSC for Startups differs as it will involve the continual onboarding of companies throughout the year as they apply to work on specific projects.
Commenting on the new initiative, Chris Ensor, NCSC Deputy Director for Cyber Growth, said: “We want to work with the UK’s thriving cybersecurity industry to explore new ideas that will make the UK the safest place to live and work online.
“NCSC for Startups offers the potential for even greater collaboration than ever before, and I would encourage startups to come forward and help us in our mission.”
The initiative is a collaboration between the NCSC and innovation centre Plexal. The programme will be supported by CyNam, which brings Cheltenham’s cyber community together as well as co-working space Hub8.
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Once chosen, firms accepted into the programme will receive “direct support” from Plexal’s cyber innovation team and leading experts from the NCSC and GCHQ. Startups will also gain access to wider technical and commercial opportunities with Plexal’s industry partners across the UK’s cybersecurity ecosystem.
Saj Huq, Director of Innovation at Plexal, said: “Being at the cutting edge of cybersecurity is critical for solving the constantly evolving challenges and enabling the many technology-driven opportunities that an increasingly interconnected and digital world creates.
“NCSC for Startups is a unique opportunity for innovative startups to explore new concepts and collaborate with the UK government, Plexal and a broad spectrum of industry and academic partners to develop, iterate and pilot solutions that the UK needs the most.”