The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), a part of GCHQ, together with Wayra UK, has launched a national call for start-ups to join its accelerator programme to develop next generation cyber security solutions.

Since its launch in 2017, the ‘NCSC Cyber Accelerator’, which is funded by the UK Government Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), has actively mentored and supported the growth of technology start-ups, with previous participants having received in excess of £20 million in funding.  

The focus areas for hopeful start-ups include enhancing security, techniques for anticipating the early stages of a cyber-attack, enabling action to be taken on real-time threats, vulnerability information and more.

“This call will allow us to cast the widest net possible for attracting start-ups developing technologies that will better protect us now and in the future,” said Chris Ensor, NCSC Deputy Director for Skills and Growth.

“We’ve worked with 23 companies over the past few years, offering them unique technical insights that have helped them grow their ideas and business.”

Based at an undisclosed facility in Cheltenham, the Accelerator has already seen 16 startups graduate from the programme which runs for nine months and includes a robust acceleration package including, exclusive access to experts from the NCSC and GCHQ, a £25,000 grant, access to Wayra’s investor network and potential pathway to security experts from Telefónica brands such as O2.

Gary Stewart, Director of Wayra UK and Telefónica Open Future in the UK, added: “The NCSC Cyber Accelerator, powered by Wayra UK, is representative of how Britain’s intelligence, cyber and security services, have evolved to counter emerging threats by supporting businesses on the frontiers of new tech innovation.”

“With GCHQ celebrating its centenary, we’re proud to be a leading partner in identifying and nurturing the fourth cohort of start-ups that will help keep Britain safe now and for the next 100 years.”