The Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has launched a new programme, Cyber Runway, to support growth for the UK’s burgeoning cyber security sector.
The scheme aims to support at least 160 businesses in the field nationwide over the next six months. Funded by DCMS, it will be delivered by Plexal in partnership with CyLon, Deloitte and the Centre for Secure Information Technologies (CSIT).
Cyber Runway will see entrepreneurs and businesses across the four nations get access to business masterclasses, mentoring, product development support, networking events and backing to trade internationally and secure investment so they can turn their ideas into commercial successes.
Minister for Digital Infrastructure Matt Warman said:
Our new Cyber Runway programme will help tackle barriers to growth, increase investment and give firms vital support to take their businesses to the next level.
“Cyber Runway will promote growth across the UK with a particular focus on Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales, the North East, North West and South West of England to support the government’s levelling up agenda. Much of the activity will build on the success of emerging cyber hubs such as Cheltenham, Manchester, Belfast, Cardiff, Glasgow and Edinburgh.
“The programme will also support founders and innovators from a diverse range of backgrounds – targeting applicants from underrepresented groups in the UK’s cyber sector such as women and people from black, asian and minority ethnic backgrounds.“
The cyber security sector is one of the UK’s tech success stories with revenue growing 7 per cent in the last financial year and the number of companies increasing by 21 per cent. The sector is now worth £8.9 billion.
Saj Huq, director of innovation at Plexal, said:
COVID-19 has catalysed the need for effective cyber security across industries, and a record level of capital is being invested into the sector. But there is still a need for support for businesses at the earliest stages of their development and innovators and entrepreneurs from underrepresented communities still face barriers when entering the ecosystem.
“These are challenges we look forward to addressing with Cyber Runway by supporting the best innovators, regardless of their background or geography, to thrive and grow.“
Expressions of interest from applicants, mentors and investors can now be made via Plexal’s website.