Digital Catapult Consortium secures up to £1.1m DCMS funding to help early-stage UK cyber security businesses grow

The four-year programme will help cyber security SMEs hone their business skills through mentoring and workshops that support their growth


LONDON, UK, 17 February 2017Digital Catapult announces that it has secured up to £1.1m in funding from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), to deliver Cyber 101, a business advice and mentoring programme to help new UK cyber security firms grow and succeed. Delivered in collaboration with a strong consortium of partners, the programme will help increase the size of the UK cyber security market and improve the success rate of firms in the early stages of their business lifecycle.


The programme is part of the Government’s £1.9 billion National Cyber Security Strategy to protect the UK in cyber space and develop a strong and growing UK cyber security industry.


Minister of State for Digital and Culture Matt Hancock said:


“I’m delighted to announce up to £1.1m Government funding to help our small and medium cyber security firms get the support they need to grow their businesses. This will help keep us at the forefront of the global fight against cyber threats and attacks.


“We’re determined to make sure the UK remains a world-leading digital economy, the best place for innovative firms to start up and scale up, and that we are the safest place to live and do business online. This funding, delivered by the Digital Catapult consortium, and working alongside the new National Cyber Security Centre, will play a vital role in delivering those aims.”


The Cyber 101 project will be delivered by Digital Catapult with the support of a number of consortium partners each with expertise in cyber business development, including The Accelerator Network, the Centre for Secure Information Technologies (CSIT) and the VTC Group. The programme is intended to run for four years starting with a pilot project delivered between February and March 2017. Cyber 101 will provide cybersecurity companies across the UK with access to mentoring and advice, intensive one day workshops, online learning content, as well as connections to public and private customers and the investment community through an annual demonstration day.


The training is designed to help support cybersecurity businesses hone their business skills and will provide guidance on specific business essentials, such as value proposition design, market validation, sales and marketing, risk management and compliance and digital tools that can help them expand and export.


Dr Jeremy Silver, CEO, Digital Catapult: “Cyber security is a tier one threat in the UK with the threat landscape evolving at a rapid pace. The Government is committed to supporting the UK’s ability to defend itself from cyber-attack and take action against cybercriminals. A significant part of this comes down to removing barriers to growth and supporting innovation in this space, in turn helping foster leading cyber security companies in UK. The Cyber 101 programme is specifically designed to help achieve these aims.”


Digital Catapult is uniquely placed to lead on this national programme thanks to its network of centres across the UK and its proven success in providing the technical expertise, connections and advice to help small businesses grow. The programme will address the specific needs of local cyber security SMEs and will provide valuable support to hundreds of UK cyber security firms.”


The Cyber 101 programme will kick-off in Northern Ireland and London as a pilot programme before being scaled-up to sites across the UK. The project will kick off with workshops in London on 10th and 16th March 2017, and subsequent workshops in Northern Ireland on 20th and 29th March 2017. Cyber SMEs interested in taking part in workshops can apply via Digital Catapult’s Open Call here.


About the National Cyber Security Strategy

The Government’s £1.9 billion National Cyber Security Strategy has three core pillars:

  • Defend our people, businesses and assets across the public and private sectors;
  • Deter and disrupt our adversaries- states, criminals and hacktivists;
  • Develop critical capabilities to build skills, support growth and stimulate science and technology.


This programme to develop early-stage cyber security firms complements the Government’s wider work to support the UK industry, including two Cyber Innovation Centres in Cheltenham and London and various programmes to support cyber security businesses.


About Digital Catapult

Digital Catapult is here to help grow the UK digital economy by working with SMEs to help them grow and scale faster and helping larger corporates in their digital transformation. It does this through programmes of collaboration and open innovation, by bringing academic leading edge expertise into the mix combined with the organisation’s own business and technological expertise.

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About The Accelerator Network

The Accelerator Network is the parent organisation for the Accelerator Academy, the Fast Forward Pre-Accelerator, the Cyber Hackathon & Cyber Bootcamps and a range of other high growth support services for tech startups and scale-ups. It unites information resources, bootcamps, industry coaching, high growth training & mentoring and access to both seed and follow on capital to help emerging tech entrepreneurs build scalable, investable businesses.

Working across the UK ecosystem, The Accelerator Network connects aspiring and emerging entrepreneurs with the support they need at the time they need it. With this focus on life stage appropriate support, and a centralised platform to screen, select, support and signpost entrepreneurs, The Accelerator Network supports 1000+ entrepreneurs each year.

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About CSIT

The Centre for Secure Information Technologies (CSIT), a recipient of a The Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education in 2015 for its impact, was established as the UK’s national Innovation & Knowledge Centre (IKC) for cyber security in 2009 with funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and Innovate UK with additional support from Invest Northern Ireland. It is based at Queen’s University Belfast’s ECIT Global Research Institute and delivers CSIT Labs, the world’s first cyber security incubator programme to provide free engineering resource to cohort companies.

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About VTC Group


Established by leading industry experts and investors, The Virtual Technology Cluster Group’s (“The VTC Group”) model enables major multi-national companies to attract emerging and disruptive technology innovators into their supply chain.  VTC Members are offered revenue opportunities by the Sponsors, access to advisers providing expert scale-up services and networking opportunities, and support from the Academic and Investment communities.

The VTC Group has two clusters. The first is focused on cyber security and was launched in association with Lockheed Martin (now Leidos), the global defence and security organisation. Membership currently exceeds 90 companies all focused on revenue driven business growth. The Leidos VTC’s other sponsors include Unilever, Dell EMC and PA Consulting.

The second cluster is focused on advancing the digitisation of healthcare through improving access to human, digital capabilities and adoption of new, innovative technologies and is sponsored by a multinational professional services firm.

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