Adapted from the PR released on Tuesday 30 January
CyberNorth has today announced a landmark moment which will see the roll out of two pilot Innovation Centres in Newcastle and Durham as a result of funding secured from the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT).
The funding will enable CyberNorth and key partners to pilot the initiative and provide proof of concept for further roll-out across the region. The Innovation Centres will provide a vital platform to pioneering early-stage businesses allowing them to pursue and accelerate their growth trajectory in the cyber security field. The venture will see CyberNorth collaborate with one of the UK’s most successful FinTechs, Atom Bank, and co-working space provider, floe, to house businesses as part of a six-month package of support to help foster innovation and growth.
The funding announcement swiftly follows the highly successful Aspire CyberFest 2023 event, which brought together over 350 business leaders and tech experts from the region. Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Minister for AI and Intellectual Property) Viscount Camrose addressed the conference and highlighted the vital role played by CyberNorth and local tech companies in fuelling the growth of the region’s cyber security sector.
Phil Jackman, Director CyberNorth said:
“We are delighted to have secured funding from DSIT. This is a ground-breaking moment for cyber security in the region. As a catalyst of support in the North East, the aim of CyberNorth is to bring the cyber security sector together, whilst championing the region nationally. The roll-out of the ‘physical’ Innovation Centres is a big step in seeing our plans and collaborations with partners across the North East build further momentum.
The ministerial visit to the region last year was key and enabled the minister to see first-hand the challenges being faced, as well as the potential to grow the cyber security and digital sector to unlock new jobs and investment across the region. We are very excited to put the wheels in motion for this new venture with our partners Atom Bank and floe.”
With the region now recognised as a key player in the UK cyber security landscape, the Innovation Centres will further unleash the potential in the North East, supporting the businesses under the programme with a blend of business incubation, free (or subsidised accommodation) and hands on skills development and support.
Since inception, CyberNorth’s mission has been to bolster the region’s cyber security ecosystem, develop the cyber security community and raise local, national and international awareness of opportunities and capacity in the North East. CyberNorth’s membership is made up of around 900 members from the cyber security landscape. CyberNorth works closely with other sector clusters across the region including FinTech, Space, HealthTech, Advanced Manufacturing and Renewables.
The North East has a stellar roll call of companies blazing a trail across the cyber security scene, and there is still further potential which remains untapped. The funding from DSIT presents an exciting opportunity to create the two ‘pop-up’ innovation centres in the region and to use these to develop a future model whereby small innovation hotspots can be created that bring innovators and business support together.
Atom Bank is housed on a key site at Aykley Heads, County Durham. Launched in 2016, the app-based bank employs more than 550 people and has strong connections across the local community. Atom Bank will support businesses under the programme to help foster and accelerate the start-up process for budding cyber security businesses.
Jon Holden, CISO, Atom Bank said:
“Our support for the innovation centres, rooted in the vibrant cities of Newcastle and Durham, is not just an investment in the community and technology, but a steadfast commitment to a safer digital future for all of the UK. It’s an absolute pleasure to be part of CyberNorth and support the vast cyber security talent in the region. We are not only nurturing local talent, transforming raw potential into the new defenders of cyberspace but also celebrating the unique fusion of tradition and technology that our region has to offer.”
floe, is a flexible, engaging co-working space with community and support at its core, and will support businesses looking to set up a base in the heart of Newcastle.
Hamish Rutherford, Director, floe said:
“We are delighted to work with CyberNorth to support this exciting programme in the region. We look forward to hosting a range of new and innovative businesses at our accessible city centre premises to help nurture the next generation of cyber security talent.”
At the heart of CyberNorth is collaboration, and their Operational Group includes representation from key organisations across the region including Northumbria University, Accenture, Waterstons, Virgin Money, Vertu Motors and Aspire Technology. The team brings together an incredible wealth of knowledge and expertise to the table, providing invaluable insights to pioneer the future of cyber security in the North East.
In addition to its strong regional presence, CyberNorth is part of UKC3, the UK Cyber Cluster Collaboration. Together they are on a mission to facilitate and level up the divide across the north through the Northern Cyber Clusters Collaboration project, which aims to better understand cyber security assets and key cyber security players in the northern regions, and to develop ways for them to work together to increase visibility and to elevate growth and opportunities in the sector.