Development & Alumni Relations Office 


11 April 2018

Queen’s Centre for Secure Information Technologies (CSIT) – which is based in the Northern Ireland Science Park, now known as Catalyst Inc – has been selected by the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport to deliver a £13.5 million cyber innovation centre in London in partnership with Plexal and Deloitte.

Located in the East End’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, the London Cyber Innovation Centre will help secure the UK’s position as a global leader in cyber security innovation. Opening in June it is hoped the Centre will eventually create up to 2,000 jobs.

The Cyber Innovation Centre will act as a convening force in the UK cyber security community, working closely with existing national cyber security innovation hubs and international centres of excellence to help position the UK as a world leader in cyber security solutions.

CSIT, which is based at Queen’s University Belfast’s Institute for Electronics, Communications and Information Technology (ECIT), is partnering with Plexal and Deloitte and will play a key role in the Centre.

Margot James, Minister for Digital and the Creative Industries, said: “This new centre in the Olympic Park will build on the site’s legacy of excellence and spark a wave of creativity to develop tomorrow’s technology and protect the nation from the increasing cyber threat.”

Commenting on the announcement, Dr Godfrey Gaston, CSIT Director, said: “Queen’s University Belfast is excited to be a delivery partner on this £13.5 million project. Cyber security is a significant societal challenge which CSIT is addressing through its globally recognised research excellence.

“Building on our unique model of innovation, CSIT will deliver cutting edge academic research insights and engineering resources to the 72 start-ups based at LCIC. The project will support engineering and innovation jobs here in Belfast and deliver wider economic benefits to the region.”

He added: “CSIT has been at the forefront of UK cyber security research, innovation and economic impact since being established in 2009. During this time our Centre has utilised a unique model of innovation which marries world leading academic research with industrially experienced engineering capability to establish and support the growth of cyber security companies across the UK and helping them reach new markets across the globe.

“We are excited to be involved in delivering the LCIC which will enable us to support the next generation of companies in this dynamic and strategically important industry.”

CSIT is the UK’s Innovation and Knowledge Centre (IKC) for cyber security, and the UK’s largest cyber security focused university technology research, development and innovation centre.

The new Centre will boost the thriving East London digital cluster, spur the development of cutting-edge technology in this rapidly growing industry, and help to mitigate critical security risks facing businesses across all sectors. It will help introduce fresh innovations into established commercial markets, shortening implementation lag and attracting vital talent and investment into the UK.

A catalyst for start-ups, the Centre will run six accelerator programmes over three years, driving the development of solutions for the most pressing global cyber security challenges. Forging relationships between buyers, investors, leading academics and entrepreneurs. Start-ups accepted to the cohort programmes will receive world-class technical support, state-of-the-art testing facilities, dedicated engineering support, mentoring and business advice.

The Centre will work with large organisations to closely understand their specific challenges and support the innovators who will help solve them. An industry led Innovation Forum will bring in members of large organisations to ensure each cohort addresses challenges directly relevant to the market.

Claire Cockerton, CEO of Plexal, said: “The UK has a strong heritage in information security innovation and a healthy business environment for start-ups to scale. Our future international standing will depend on the delivery of a robust and forward-thinking cyber security sector which will enable us to drive the 4th industrial revolution: a future where intelligent automation, regulatory compliance and seamless orchestration across business tools is natural.”

Stephen Wray, Director of Cyber Innovation at Deloitte, said: “The new Centre will provide UK cyber innovators with a platform to develop their products with exactly the right market fit. We are delighted to support with both our extensive cyber domain expertise and global market access.”

Robert Hannigan (CMG), former Director of GCHQ and Chair of the Centre's industrial advisory board said: “The London Cyber Innovation Centre will be the launch pad for a whole generation of new cyber security companies, benefiting both the UK's economy and its security.”

To find out more about supporting cyber security research, visit the Queen’s University’s Foundation web page.

Media inquiries to Emma Gallagher, Queen’s University Communications Office, telephone: +44 (0)28 9097 3091.


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