CyberNorth has announced two pilot Innovation Centres in Newcastle and Durham as a result of funding secured from the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT).

The cluster will collaborate with digital bank Atom 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 Innovation Centres will aim to provide a vital platform to pioneering early-stage businesses, allowing them to pursue and accelerate their growth trajectory in cybersecurity. 

The funding will enable CyberNorth and key partners to provide proof of concept for further roll-out across the region. 

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 the North East’s cybersecurity cluster, CyberNorth, and local tech companies in fuelling the growth of the region’s sector.

“We are delighted to have secured funding from the DSIT, this is a ground-breaking moment for cybersecurity in the region,” said Phil Jackman, director of CyberNorth. 

“As a catalyst of support in the North East, the aim of CyberNorth is to bring the cyber sector together, whilst championing the region nationally. 

“The roll-out of the ‘physical’ Innovation Centres is a big step and see 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, and 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.”

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Since inception, CyberNorth’s mission has been to bolster the region’s cybersecurity ecosystem, develop the community and raise local, national and international awareness of opportunities and capacity in the North East. 

The CyberNorth Membership community is made up of around 900 members from the cybersecurity landscape. It works closely with other sector clusters across the region including FinTech, Space, HealthTech, Advanced Manufacturing and Renewables. 

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.”

Hamish Rutherford, director at floe, added: “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.”

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