Data and securityCyber SecurityA shot in the arm for Bristol’s cybersecurity

A shot in the arm for Bristol's cybersecurity

The government investment in Bristol demonstrate how the modern Industrial Strategy is bringing jobs, opportunity, and prosperity to all regions of the UK

Science Minister Chris Skidmore announced £50,000 government investment in Bristol for projects focusing on cybersecurity, screen entertainment and environmental science.

The new investment will build on the city’s thriving cybersecurity and entertainment industries, and the South West’s globally recognised strengths in environmental science.

Two of the projects are being led by the University of Bristol and the third by the University of Exeter. These projects have been awarded the early-stage funding from UKRI’s Strength in Places Fund. This fund was announced as part of the modern Industrial Strategy in 2017.

The announcement came as the Science Minister visited Bristol Robotics Lab at the University of the West of England to see the important work being done to address the Industrial Strategy’s Grand Challenges. The visit followed the recent announcement that the minister will be convening an industry group of robotics leaders to enhance the sector in the UK.

A new cyber hotspot

The Cyber Wales and West project is led by the University of Bristol. It is looking to create a new cyber hotspot that will push the boundaries of innovation. The new cyber hotspot will create a space where academic talent and test-bed platforms will attract leading UK cyber businesses.

The partnership between academia and industry will support business growth in the area. It will provide skills training and build on the city’s reputation of thriving cyber businesses and academic talent.

The industry-focused test-bed will allow rigorous testing for real-time virtualisation. It will bring together physical and virtual environments, enabling experts to identify the appropriate computer parts and networks to protect.

In September last year, Bristol is Open (BiO) had invited project providers and partners to test their smart city technology on its citywide network test bed.

The second project, My World, is being led by the University of Bristol. It is looking at how to enhance Bristol and Bath’s enviable reputation for screen-based media. This is being done by creating a vibrant creative cluster. Meanwhile, the University of Exeter is looking to establish an Environmental Intelligence Accelerator. It is working with a number of partners to make environmental data more accessible for decision-making. Partners include the Met Office and Plymouth Marine Laboratory.

Productivity and high-skilled jobs

Science and Innovation Minister Chris Skidmore said: “From enhancing home screen entertainment to developing innovative solutions for fighting cyber-crime, Bristol has much to be proud of, and these shortlisted projects have the potential to revolutionise their respective industries.

“We are committed to building on our world-leading reputation in science, research and innovation, and that is why we announced the Strength in Places Fund in our modern Industrial Strategy to boost productivity and create the high-skilled jobs of the future all around the UK.”

A total of 24 projects across the UK have initially been awarded up to £50,000 to develop their innovations. Four to eight of the strongest set will receive between £10 million and £50 million. They will each receive the funds later in the year to carry out their projects.

Announced in the modern Industrial Strategy in November 2017, the Strength in Places Fund will benefit all nations and regions of the UK by enabling them to tap into the world-class research and innovation skills base that is spread right across the country. The New Industrial Strategy funding for projects promises to support the next generation of cybersecurity products and media services to market in Bristol.

The fund brings together research organisations, businesses, and local leadership. They will be working on projects that will lead to significant economic impact, high-value job creation and regional growth.

Earlier in 2019, four new projects across England were announced by Digital Minister Margot James to encourage more women, BAME, and neurodiverse candidates into a career in cybersecurity.

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