The Marches Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has successfully secured funding of £2.82m on behalf of the University of Wolverhampton from the Government’s latest Growth Deal towards the cost of developing a new Centre for Cyber Security in Hereford.
The Centre, which will be located on Skylon Park in the Hereford Enterprise Zone, will offer high quality research facilities and support for businesses designed specifically to tackle threats in cyberspace.
Cybercrime currently costs the UK between £18 billion and £27 billion a year. 65% of all large UK companies reported a breach in the last year and threats to cyber security are persistent and constantly evolving.
Professor Ian Oakes, Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Wolverhampton, said: “The University has already formed strong, collaborative relationships with key companies to engage with cyber research, training programmes and enterprise development and has a number of research teams associated with the development of cyber security.
Our strategy is to bring together our collective expertise in a centre of excellence with partners both in the UK and internationally – Professor Ian Oakes, Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Wolverhampton
“Our strategy is to bring together our collective expertise in a centre of excellence with partners both in the UK and internationally.
“The new Centre will organise, facilitate and support the development of cyber security on a global scale, whilst at the same time present us with opportunities to develop high quality academic, vocational educational and training programmes to address the digital skills shortage being experienced nationally.”
Graham Wynn OBE, Chairman of Marches LEP, said: “Defence and security businesses employ approximately 2,600 people across the Marches, ranging from manufacturers of military vehicles, weapons, explosives, systems and technologies through to private security, security systems and investigation.
“Skylon Park is the only Enterprise Zone in the country to focus on the defence and security sector and our aim, through working in collaboration with the University of Wolverhampton, will be to build on the base of 70 plus small businesses operating locally in this market.
“The new Centre will stimulate an enhanced base of businesses engaged in cyber security solutions which will improve insight for businesses on the challenges faced in the future and drive up levels of innovation activity across the Marches.”
The Centre will provide innovation workspace for small and start-up businesses to operate from, offering consultancy support from the University and shared facilities including laboratory space and training rooms. It will offer a range of specialist facilities for the cyber sector including server space and high speed broadband as well as research and development laboratory space.
The University of Wolverhampton opened its Hereford Business Solutions Centre last year on Skylon Park, supported by investment from Herefordshire Council and the European Regional Development Fund 2007-13.