Cyber Wales, the globally recognised ecosystem of cyber security professionals, is set to receive £50,000 of investment to help provide opportunities for networking and knowledge sharing, as well as supporting skills development and innovation.
The investment is the result of a £700,000 fund created by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to support the UK Cyber Cluster Collaboration (UKC3), a network of 20 UK cyber business clusters, employers and local organisations, which includes Cyber Wales and its network of nine Welsh cyber clusters.
Cyber Wales will play an integral role in UK Cyber Cluster Collaboration initiative. John Davies, the founder and chair of Cyber Wales, has been selected as a board member of UKC3 and appointed as its Cyber Skills Growth Lead.
Commenting on the investment and Wales’ role in UKC3, John Davies, said: “This is a very welcome initiative from DCMS and a fantastic way to increase collaboration between the UK cyber clusters, encourage innovation, and accelerate the development of cyber skills.
“Cyber clusters with appropriate governance can apply to UKC3 for funding to support the growth of their groups, or special projects which may benefit the wider cyber community. None of the Welsh cyber clusters have received any funding to date, but we are all looking forward to this new chapter in the evolution of the cyber ecosystem in Wales.”
The influence of Wales’ cyber ecosystem already extends globally, as Cyber Wales has memorandums of understand and collaboration agreements with cyber clusters in more than 40 countries. Cyber Wales is also a founding member of GlobalEPIC, the Global Ecosystem of ecosystems for Partnership and Innovation in Cyber, which formed in 2017.
The ecosystem currently has over 2,500 members from more than 900 organisations and is growing every month. This makes it the largest cyber ecosystem of its kind in the UK, with large companies choosing to locate either their European headquarters, or significant cyber operations in and around Wales. Such companies include Airbus, Thales, BT, Aston Martin, General Dynamics, PwC, Admiral and the SANS Institute.
Those commercial organisations sit alongside some of the UK Government’s largest data crunching entities like DVLA, ONS, Companies House, the Passport Office and the Intellectual Property Office.
Wales also leads the way in cyber education with initiatives such as the National Cyber Security Academy at the University of South Wales, the Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Analytics at Cardiff University, and the Cyber Threats Intelligence Centre at Swansea University.
UKC3 was established to help cyber security businesses build partnerships and programmes that break down barriers to growth, such as skills gaps and a lack of business support, and provide a focal point for engagement within the industry.
Announcing the funding, UK Government minister for digital infrastructure, Matt Warman, said: “Our cyber security sector is already worth £8.9 billion and we’re working tirelessly to take its magnificent growth to the next level”.