NCSC for Startups initiative now open to cyber security innovators

In line with the launch of NCSC for Startups, which succeeds the NCSC Cyber Accelerator, the governmental agency is calling for tech innovators to apply to help the UK government develop solutions to mission-critical cyber security challenges.

The Cheltenham Science Festival was used to formally open applications for NCSC for Startups, where tech companies can apply to help develop products to defend critical areas of our economy and society.

Tech innovators which are accepted onto the programme, from early-stage startups to established scaleups, will develop and pilot technology to protect the country from malicious activity, including phishing and ransomware attacks.

“We want to work with the UK’s thriving cyber security industry to explore new ideas that will make the UK the safest place to live and work online,” said Chris Ensor, NCSC deputy director for cyber growth.

“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.”

Saj Huq, Director of Innovation at Plexal, commented: “Being at the cutting edge of cyber security 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.”

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How the project will work

While the Cyber Accelerator programme involved startups taking part in 10-week programmes at set times during the year, NCSC for Startups will involve the continual onboarding of companies throughout the year as they apply to work on specific projects, creating potential for greater collaborations.

Successful applicants will work from the NCSC for Startups HQ in Cheltenham, as well as remotely, and will also be eligible to apply for funding to help them develop their ideas.

The chosen companies will receive direct support from Plexal’s cyber innovation team and leading experts from the NCSC and GCHQ, as well as access to wider technical and commercial opportunities with Plexal’s industry partners across the UK’s cyber security ecosystem.

Additionally, startups will keep all intellectual property and equity created during the programme.

The project will be supported by Deloitte and tech skills provider QA, as well as Cheltenham-focused cyber networking platform CyNam, and Cheltenham-based coworking space Hub8.

Further information on NCSC for Startups, including how to apply, can be found here.

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Aaron Hurst

Aaron Hurst is Information Age's senior reporter, providing news and features around the hottest trends across the tech industry.