Enhancing the UK’s technology supply chain

Farnborough, Hampshire, March 19, 2015 – More than 140 entrepreneurs, technology experts, investors, academics and industry leaders gathered in Farnborough today to learn how they could support long term growth of the UK’s technology supply chain through their involvement in the fight against cyber-crime.

The rise of digital networks increases the vulnerability of information to attackers and there is a growing need for enhanced capabilities to tackle cyber-crime.

Global technology leader Lockheed Martin and Restoration Partners, a boutique technology merchant bank, have created the Lockheed Martin Virtual Technology Cluster (VTC), a pioneering initiative to connect a growing number of entrepreneurial innovators in the UK with Lockheed Martin’s global supply chain and cutting-edge technology programmes.

Through the VTC, individuals and small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) can obtain professional support, guidance and advice plus investment to develop their technologies and find a route to market.

Attending the launch of the VTC at Lockheed Martin’s Next-Gen Cyber Innovation and Technology Centre in Farnborough, Francis Maude, Minister for the Cabinet Office with responsibility for Cyber Security, said: “The UK is already a world leader in cyber security technology and innovation. It is part of our long-term economic plan to make the UK one of the safest places in the world to do business online. We have 14 cyber security clusters in regions across the UK including small and medium-sized businesses. Lockheed Martin’s new Virtual Technology Cluster will help bring together investors and innovators so that our small and medium-sized businesses can benefit from the support they need to grow and prosper.”

Lockheed Martin has made significant investments to protect itself, its information, its customers and its shareholders. It is already the cyber security provider of choice to more than 200 customers around the world.

“We know that to stay ahead of the cyber threat we need to have the best capabilities and the brightest people if we are to maintain the advantage in our increasingly connected world,” said Stephen Ball, Chief Executive, Lockheed Martin UK. “The VTC provides a new approach to benchmark capability within the UK supply chain, offering a framework that supports individuals, start-up companies, existing SMEs and others to develop innovative ideas and grow.”

Ken Olisa, OBE, Chairman of Restoration Partners said: “The VTC is a new initiative that seeks to connect the cream of British technological innovation talent with Lockheed Martin, other large organisations and a range of experts. By making these connections, these SMEs will be able to develop and progress their ideas in a quicker way than previously possible.

“Using our proven track record supporting companies within the technology sector, our role is to make connections so that companies with some great ideas have access to the experience, insight and professional expertise of other established organisations to help them bring their ideas to fruition through this ground-breaking scheme.”

With an initial focus on SMEs with niche offerings in cyber security, the VTC will also seek to support companies involved in other emerging technology. This could range from using multiple streams of information to help decision making to creating simulated technology environments for testing and evaluating or novel biometric technologies for identification purposes.

The VTC will help bolster the UK supply chain to be capable of delivering these technologies, and membership criteria will continue to evolve to reflect the needs and anticipated demands of the market place. The VTC has already generated significant interest from government and the business community across the UK.

Minister for Culture and the Digital Economy, Ed Vaizey said: “As part of our long-term economic plan the Government is committed to supporting the UK’s thriving cyber security industry. As the Prime Minister said in January, the unique partnership between Lockheed Martin and Restoration Partners offers opportunities for small firms in the UK to flourish. Initiatives such as the Virtual Technology Cluster are not only a key driver of growth and innovation but are also a vital way for businesses to keep the UK safe from the threat of cyber-crime.”

Lockheed Martin UK, headquartered in London, is the UK-based arm of Lockheed Martin Corporation, a global security and aerospace company. Lockheed Martin UK specialises in the development, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The company employs more than 3,300 people in the UK across 21 sites, working on a wide range of major programmes spanning the aerospace, defence and civil sectors.

Restoration Partners works alongside visionary entrepreneurs in the dynamic, high-value, technology sector. Our merchant banking advisors support entrepreneurs with strategy, execution and access to capital, and help to communicate their vision to those that matter most to them – investors, partners, employees, customers – to increase their chances of success.

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