A new Cyber Innovation Hub (CIH) to help Wales become a global leader in Cyber Security will be operational later this year having attracted co-investment commitments from Welsh Government, The Cardiff Capital Region City Deal (CCR) and industry partners.
The Welsh Government and the Cardiff Capital Region City Deal are each making a £3m investment in the new Hub over a 2-year period, with a further £3.5m of in-kind match funding from consortium partners boosting the initial investment to £9.5m. It is expected that the CIH will attract £19.9m in total support over 5 years.
The Funding is being made available to a consortium led by Cardiff to develop the partnership with collaborators including Airbus, Alacrity Cyber, CGI, Thales NDEC, Tramshed Tech, and the University of South Wales.
Developed under the directorship of Pete Burnap, Professor of Data Science & Cybersecurity, School of Computer Science and Informatics, CIH aims to boost the number of cyber security businesses anchored in South East Wales, and enhance cybersecurity skills to widen and diversify the cybersecurity talent pool.
The creation of the new hub will create a step-change for Wales’ existing cyber security excellence, operating together in co-ordinated cluster-based activities. It will foster collaboration between industry, government and academic partners, with a focus on growing the Welsh cybersecurity sector and enabling the nation to take advantage of the anticipated growth of the sector in the UK, and globally. The investment will leverage a coordinated approach to skills, innovation and new enterprise creation, that is unique in the UK.
By 2030, the Hub aims to have:
- Created at least 27 cybersecurity start-ups – growing the cyber security sector in Wales by more than 50% in terms of volume of businesses;
- Attracted more than £20m in private equity investment;
- Upskilled and reskilled approx. 1750 cyber-skilled individuals and created a coordinated catalyst for new products, high growth businesses and talent in the region.
- Help attract and anchor the best cybersecurity talent in Wales, which will also benefit the local foundational economy.
First Minister Mark Drakeford said:
“The Welsh Government is proud to co-fund Cyber Innovation Hub’s mission to transform Cardiff Capital Region into one of the UK’s leading cyber clusters by 2030.
“The pandemic has highlighted just how important cyber innovation is in supporting and protecting information-sharing whilst offering data and insight to help keep the region moving and growing.”
UK Government Minister David TC Davies said:
“I am delighted to see this world-beating new centre open in the Cardiff Capital Region, supported as a part of the UK Government’s £375m investment in the City Region deal. This will bring jobs and growth to the area as well as putting Wales at the heart of the cybersecurity industry.”
Chris Ensor Deputy Director for Cyber Growth, National Cyber Security Centre said:
“The Cyber Innovation Hub (CIH) is a welcome addition to South Wales’ already impressive cyber security ecosystem, bringing benefits not only to the local area but the UK as a whole. The NCSC is looking forward to supporting the CIH on its journey of driving the transformation and growth of cyber innovation.”
Kellie Beirne, CCR City Deal Director, said:
“We are delighted to be co-funding this groundbreaking new initiative which is critical to the growth of the cyber security sector in the region and will create a competitive advantage for the CCR against other UK regions. Cardiff University and USW are recognised by the National Cyber Security Centre (part of GCHQ) as Academic Centres of Excellence in research and education.
“Their work underpins ground-breaking research that has seeded spinouts and SME’s and been translated into larger businesses. This creates a strong, sustainable supply chain in Wales, recognised and valued by its businesses and public services partners who also have a significant stake in the future of this sector. Having these ingredients makes us a nationally excellent cybersecurity ecosystem.”
Professor Colin Riordan, Vice Chancellor of Cardiff University said:
“Thanks to Welsh Government and CCR support, Cardiff University is keen to play a key role in a cluster aligned with our innovation strategy, leveraging long standing commercial and public sector partnerships to develop market-led challenges, deliver IP, champion new cyber products and high-growth companies, and develop a talent pool that feeds directly into the cluster.”