Cybersecurity

GCHQ, the UK’s intelligence and cyber agency, is looking for five ambitious businesses to join its pioneering innovation programme to apply trailblazing technologies to national security challenges.

The GCHQ Innovation Co-Lab, developed in partnership with HOST, the Home of Skills & Technology based in Salford Quays, is aimed at UK-based digital companies or a consortium of companies with innovative approaches to technology and analytics, or a vision to reach alternative markets for their products or service.

Businesses can apply to take part in three specific challenges as part of the Co-Lab.

One is dealing with uncertainty: products and services which utilise open-source information to help people make sense of current events and plan for the future.

Another is re-imagining morse code: technology that will help improve automated translation and transcriptions, supported by advances in artificial intelligence and machine learning.  

A further challenge is a wildcard option where businesses will have the rare opportunity to showcase to GCHQ an innovative and unique approach to technology that helps shape the future for the better.

While applications are open to all, they are particularly welcome from entrepreneurs in the North West, who are from diverse and underrepresented backgrounds.

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“As a dedicated innovation partner of GCHQ, we are privileged to continue to support founders with this specialist programme, ensuring innovation is inclusive and accessible for businesses and individuals across the region and the UK,” said Mo Isap, CEO of IN4.0 Group, operator of HOST.

“The Co-Lab offers emerging technology businesses access to technologists and innovators from GCHQ as well as valuable innovation and business growth support from the HOST community and its industry partners.”

The programme will be delivered in a hybrid style, both in-person and virtually over five months with companies benefitting from collaboration with technologists and innovators from GCHQ and invaluable mentoring from innovation hub HOST and its investor networks.

This follows two previously successful innovation programmes that involved participants such as Bellrock Technology, which was included in the G-Cloud 12 framework as a data analytics supplier for the UK government; and Journey Protector, a developer of technology that helps prevent cargo theft and human trafficking in the logistics industry, led by CEO Anne Lawlor, which has secured significant funding since completing the programme.

The deadline for applications is 13 September, with successful applicants being announced by the end of October, and the programme beginning in November. 

For further information, visit: https://www.hostsalford.com/programmes/the-gchq-innovation-co-lab-2021/