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CyberNorth Prepares to Launch Two Cybersecurity Innovation Centres in the North-East

After securing funding from the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT), the cybersecurity cluster for North East England, CyberNorth, is now launching two pilot Innovation Centres in Newcastle and Durham. 

New Innovation Centres will provide a vital platform to pioneering early-stage businesses enabling them to pursue and accelerate their growth trajectory in the cyber security field. The venture will see CyberNorth collaborate with one of the UK’s most successful fintechs, Atom Bank 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 new funding will enable CyberNorth, Atom Bank and floe to pilot the initiative and provide proof of concept for further roll-out across the region.

Phil Jackman, director of CyberNorth
Phil Jackman, director of CyberNorth

Phil Jackman, director of CyberNorth, shared his views on the plans: “As a catalyst of support in the North East, CyberNorth aims to bring the cyber sector together, whilst championing the region nationally.

“The roll-out of ‘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.”

With the region now recognised as a key player in the UK cyber security landscape, the Innovation Centres will further unleash the potential in the North East, supporting the businesses under the programme with a blend of business incubation, free (or subsidised accommodation) and hands-on skills development and support.

Collaborative efforts to ensure results

CyberNorth explained the importance of collaboration when achieving its aims, with its operational group including representation from key organisations across the region including Northumbria University, Accenture, Waterstones, Virgin Money, Vertu Motors and Aspire Technology. Together, this team bring an incredible wealth of knowledge and expertise to the table, providing invaluable insights to pioneer the future of cyber security in the North East.

Jon Holden, CISO at Atom Bank, commented: “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 cybersecurity 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.”

floe, is a flexible, engaging co-working space with community and support at its core, and will support businesses looking to set up a base in the heart of Newcastle. Hamish Rutherford, director at floe, also said: “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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