DCMS New programme to spark wave of growth in UK’s thriving cyber sector

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS)

Innovative cyber startups, small businesses and scaleups will benefit from a new scheme to help them launch and grow their businesses while spreading wealth and opportunity across the UK.

Cyber Runway will see entrepreneurs and businesses across the four nations get access to business masterclasses, mentoring, product development support, networking events and backing to trade internationally and secure investment so they can turn their ideas into commercial successes.

The new programme – funded by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and delivered by Plexal in partnership with CyLon, Deloitte and The Centre for Secure Information Technologies (CSIT) – aims to support at least 160 organisations and companies over the course of six months.

The cyber security sector is one of the UK’s tech success stories with revenue growing 7 per cent in the last financial year and the number of companies increasing by 21 per cent. The sector is now worth £8.9 billion.

Companies participating in DCMS’s cyber growth initiatives in the past have, on average, more than tripled their revenues year on year.

Minister for Digital Infrastructure Matt Warman said:

The UK’s cyber sector is booming and we’re working tirelessly to ensure the benefits are felt by businesses and individuals right across the country.

Our new Cyber Runway programme will help tackle barriers to growth, increase investment and give firms vital support to take their businesses to the next level.

Cyber Runway will promote growth across the UK with a particular focus on Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales, the North East, North West and South West of England to support the government’s levelling up agenda. Much of the activity will build on the success of emerging cyber hubs such as Cheltenham, Manchester, Belfast, Cardiff, Glasgow and Edinburgh.

The programme will also support founders and innovators from a diverse range of backgrounds – targeting applicants from underrepresented groups in the UK’s cyber sector such as women and people from black, asian and minority ethnic backgrounds.

Saj Huq, director of innovation at Plexal, said:

COVID-19 has catalysed the need for effective cyber security across industries, and a record level of capital is being invested into the sector. But there is still a need for support for businesses at the earliest stages of their development and innovators and entrepreneurs from underrepresented communities still face barriers when entering the ecosystem.

These are challenges we look forward to addressing with Cyber Runway by supporting the best innovators, regardless of their background or geography, to thrive and grow.

Nick Morris, CEO at CyLon, said:

The UK’s cyber security ecosystem is at a critical and exciting point in its development, with both new challenges and new opportunities having arisen out of the pandemic. Through its Launch, Grow and Scale streams, we believe Cyber Runway will be able to help a diverse range of entrepreneurs, startups and scaleups capitalise on this.

Cyber Runway will support UK innovators to develop the crucial security technologies that will safeguard the future of our digital economy. We are very pleased to be a part of this initiative alongside DCMS and our fantastic partners Plexal, CSIT and Deloitte.

Louise Cushnahan, head of innovation at CSIT, said:

CSIT has a strong reputation for providing support to cyber startups through their various growth stages.

We are delighted to bring our expertise to Cyber Runway to collaborate with cyber companies and entrepreneurs bringing innovative cyber solutions to market.

Cyber Runway is part of the government’s wider work to develop the UK’s strength in cyber as we build back better after the pandemic and improve prosperity and security.

Expressions of interest from applicants, mentors and investors can now be made.

Notes to editors:

DCMS press office is on 020 7211 2210.

Cyber Runway follows a number of other DCMS-funded cyber programmes which have now completed. These include HutZero, Cyber 101 and Tech Nation’s cyber accelerator for scaleups.

Cyber Runway is looking for expressions of interest from potential applicants, mentors and investors.

New programme to spark wave of growth in UK’s thriving cyber sector – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Cyber is jewel in UK tech crown – report welcomed

Business leaders at Skylon Park today welcomed a new report which  revealed the UK’s growing cyber industry attracted record investment last year despite the global pandemic.

The DCMS Annual Cyber Sector Report, which tracks the UK’s cyber security industry, found the number of active firms in the sector increased by 21 per cent in the last year.

Andrew manning cox

Andrew Manning Cox is Chairman of the Hereford Enterprise Zone, Skylon Park, which is home to the new £9m Cyber Quarter – Midlands Centre for Cyber Security.

He said: “The report shows how vital the fast-growing cyber sector is to the national economic recovery, worth an estimated £8.9 billion, with a record £800 million of investment raised by firms.

“This region has already been identified as the fastest growing hotspot for cyber outside London, so it holds enormous potential for Herefordshire’s future prosperity too.

“Skylon Park is the only enterprise zone in the UK which has a defence and security sector focus.

“We are seeing high numbers of enquiries from potential investors currently – both looking to invest on Cyber Quarter as well as take advantage of some of the specialist services on offer to help protect businesses from cyber threats at the new centre too.”

The new report showed a nine per cent rise in employment in the industry with more than 3,800 new full time jobs created, bringing the total number of people working in the sector to 46,683.

The sector is now worth an estimated £8.9 billion, with a record £800 million of investment raised by firms.

Digital Minister Matt Warman, at the launch of the report, said: “The need for cutting-edge cyber security has never been greater and this resilient sector is growing, diversifying and solidifying its status as a jewel in the UK’s tech crown.

“With more than 3,800 new jobs created, firms – large and small – are doing vital work keeping people and businesses secure online so we can build back safer from the pandemic.”

The main findings from the report are:

  • Despite the current economic climate, 2020 was a new record year for cyber security investment with UK cyber security businesses raising over £821 million across 73 deals – more than twice that raised in 2019
  • The sector’s total annual revenue has continued to rise (by 7 per cent), reaching £8.9 billion within the most recent financial year
  • The sector contributed more than £4 billion to the economy – up 6 per cent in the last year, with mainly mature firms driving growth
  • The majority (65 per cent) of the 46,683 cyber workforce are employed by large firms (250+ employees).