Posted on October 15, 2019 by staff

GCHQ accelerator launches to improve ‘digital citizen safety’


Government intelligence, cyber and security agency GCHQ is opening a new strategic hub in the heart of Manchester.

It has partnered with Manchester-based workspace The Landing and UP Ventures on an accelerator designed to improve citizen safety.

In partnership with GCHQ, The Landing and global tech accelerator UP Ventures have been selected to deliver the accelerator, called the Safe Citizen Digital Innovation Lab.

Applications to join the GCHQ Accelerator, which will start in early 2020, are being sought from companies who have customer facing technology solutions aimed at improving citizen digital safety across the North West.

The news follows on from the GM Future of Health Challenge accelerator which is now underway with a cohort of 15 companies, led by UP Ventures at The Landing, in Salford’s MediaCityUK.

It will seek start-ups that have harnessed cutting-edge technology in a creative way, from empowering citizens by providing new insights from connected devices and services, to the creative use of data to deliver social impact in the region.

GCHQ’s Deputy Director for Manchester says: “The Greater Manchester community has been fantastically welcoming to GCHQ, and we are just as pleased to be here. This Accelerator programme is an early chance for us to get working with the buzzing tech community in the North West. The ‘Safe Citizens’ theme for the Accelerator combines our passion for exploring innovative cutting-edge technology, and our desire to make a real contribution to the region.

“We look forward to building relationships with a diverse range of technologists, creatives and entrepreneurs.”

GCHQ said it will also seek to engage with external partners in the region.

The 16-week accelerator programme will leverage unique technical infrastructure and facilities, including the Vodafone 5G Innovation Lab, which provides real world urban environments for demonstration of products and services of MediaCityUK.

Dan Sodergren, Head of Business Services at The Landing, added: “Thanks to our unparalleled facilities and a commitment to innovation from all partners, this is a significant opportunity for companies to explore how a ‘Smart City’ can work for its customers.

“Using technology for good is something we are incredibly passionate about and we are excited to receive applications from those who can really make a positive difference to all of our lives in the 21st century.”