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Government launches new London Cyber Innovation Centre

Matteo Natalucci Published 10 April 2018

Former head of GCHQ Robert Hannigan will lead the centre’s industry advisory board

 

The Government has unveiled London’s first Cyber Innovation Centre (LCIC), which will be based at major East London tech campus Plexal.

The centre will incubate 72 cyber security companies, across a variety of sectors including Artificial Intelligence (AI), data analytics, VR/AR, fintech and IOT, over a three and half year period. Each organisation will receive a customised programme of technical and commercial mentoring from some of the world’s leading experts on cyber security.

Startups will also have access to and insights from industry experts including connection to the EPIC network of international cyber clusters and research hubs which bring trade and investment opportunities on a global scale.

The centre, to be based at Here East, in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, also aims to convene a diverse range of investment partners from angels to VCs and institutional investors, providing participants with a broad selection of investment opportunities. 

The new £13.5m innovation centre will be led by Plexal in partnership with Deloitte’s cyber team and the Centre for Secure Information Technologies at Queen’s University Belfast.

Plexal will offer to LCIC’s companies access to a range of innovation services, business mentors and professional services such as financial advice, HR & recruitment, accounting, brand and marketing, and use of technology facilities. Members will also have access to a number of community events to help encourage collaboration between large corporations and startups, and cross-pollination of ideas amongst peers.

Plexal is also partnering with a number of universities such as UCL and Queens to ensure a talent pipeline and the commercialisation of key research findings. 

Robert Hannigan, former head of GCHQ, will lead the centre’s industry advisory board, which will also include Roni Zehavi, chief executive of the Cyberspark Industry Initiative.

The centre is currently seeking large enterprises to join an Innovation Forum, which will inform six themed accelerator programmes and the real-world challenges that startups will be asked to develop new solutions to.The Forum will meet quarterly and will aim to maximise piloting and contracting opportunities for smaller firms. 

Margot James, Minister for Digital and the Creative Industries, said, “London is the undisputed leader of European tech, with billions of investment flowing in every year and world-leading firms developing groundbreaking innovations”. 

James said, “This new centre in the Olympic Park will build on the site’s legacy of excellence and spark a wave of creativity to develop tomorrow’s technology and protect the nation from the increasing cyber threat.”

Claire Cockerton, chief executive and founder of Plexal said, “The UK has a strong heritage in tech innovation and a fertile business environment for startups to scale. Our future international standing as a world-leading digitally-enabled economy depends on the delivery of a robust and forward-thinking cyber security sector”.

Cockerton added, “The London Cyber Innovation Centre will provide the bedrock for this to happen – delivering bespoke business development programmes, engineering resource, professional services, access to corporate buyers and ambitious investors. At Plexal, it is our mission to bring the whole industry together to accelerate innovation, entrepreneurship and business growth for UK PLC.”

Stephen Wray, director of Cyber Innovation at Deloitte said, “The new Centre will provide UK cyber innovators with a platform to develop their products with exactly the right market fit. We are delighted to support with both our extensive cyber domain expertise and global market access.”








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