A new Cyber Innovation Hub to help Wales become a global leader in the sector will be operational later this year, thanks to a £3m investment from the Welsh Government, First Minister, Mark Drakeford announced last week.
The Welsh Government is making a £3m investment in the new Hub over 2 years, with £3m of co-funding from Cardiff Capital Region and £3.5m of in-kind match funding from consortium partners.
The First Minister made the announcement during the first day of the UK’s flagship cyber security conference – CYBERUK 2022. CYBERUK, which is run by the National Cyber Security Centre – a part of GCHQ, is being held in Newport this week.
The new Cyber Innovation Hub is being led by Cardiff University with partners including Airbus, Alacrity Cyber, CGI, Thales NDEC, Tramshed Tech, and the University of South Wales.
It’s hoped the new Innovation Hub will train more than 1,000 cyber-skilled individuals and grow the cyber security sector in Wales by more than 50% by 2030.
There are 51 cyber-related businesses based in Wales, employing 4% of cyber security professionals based in the UK.
The creation of the new hub will create a step-change for Wales’ existing cyber security excellence to operate together in co-ordinated cluster-based activities. It will bring industry, government and academic partners together to grow the Welsh cybersecurity sector, enabling Wales to take advantage of the anticipated growth of the sector in the UK, and globally, by investing in a coordinated approach to skills, innovation and new enterprise creation.
By 2030, the Hub aims to have:
- Grown the cyber security sector in Wales by more than 50% in terms of volume of businesses;
- Attracted more than £20m in private equity investment to scale around 50% of these businesses;
- Trained more than 1,000 cyber-skilled individuals.
Due to the co-ordinated approach and the critical mass created, the Hub will become a core business partner to major cyber security organisations in the Cheltenham “Cyber Park” development, the wider UK, and the rest of the World.
The Hub will 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.”