The Government has announced a “groundbreaking” partnership with tech start-ups to develop world-leading cyber security technology.

As part of the Government’s National Cyber Security Programme, funding applications have been opened at wayra.co.uk/gchq for cyber security start-ups.

The closing date for entries is Monday 17th October.

Successful start-ups will begin work in an accelerator based at a new Cheltenham Innovation Centre in early 2017, with a second innovation centre to open later that year in London.

The two centres will receive £50m over five years.

“We are making progress in our ambitious programme to support innovation in cyber security, grow the UK’s thriving sector, and protect Britain from cyber attacks and threats,” said digital and culture minister Matt Hancock.

“Our two new Cyber Innovation Centres will bring together government, academic and business expertise, and will be invaluable in helping support start-up companies and develop world-class cyber technology.”

Cyber security and the growing FinTech sector will be the subject of BusinessCloud’s latest business breakfast on Wednesday 2nd November.

Most companies have already fallen victim to an attack and as the criminals become more sophisticated, that figure is only going to rise. The free event in Manchester - sign up to attend here - will hear from some of the UK’s most innovative FinTech firms and discuss the omnipresent danger of cyber security.

The new accelerator programme is a first for the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and the Government's Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), the UK’s intelligence and cyber security agency.

The programme will help startups boost and scale initial sales and business development with relevant partners, and secure follow-on third-party investment too.

Start-ups will be given a grant by Wayra UK as well as a physical space to work in. Participants will have the opportunity to learn first-hand about cyber security best practice and gain Cyber Essential accreditation.

The programme will also fast-track new firms into the cyber-security sector, which contributed £1.8bn in exports to the UK economy and grew to become a £22bn industry in 2015.

GCHQ deputy director for cyber skills and growth Chris Ensor said: “Cyber security is a team sport and as threats become more prolific and more complex, we should be sharing our experiences and views because there’s so much we can learn from each other.”

It was revealed last week that "state-sponsored" hackers stole the details of about 500 million Yahoo users in the largest cyber security breach in history.

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