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security

Spy chiefs GCHQ to work with Manchester Science Partnerships on new tech start-up accelerator


Spy agency GCHQ is launching a tech start-up accelerator in the heart of Manchester.

The government’s top secret intelligence and security organisation has teamed up with landlord Manchester Science Partnerships (MSP), tech security giant Cisco and business accelerator Wayra to tap into the brightest software engineering start-ups in the UK.

This ground-breaking initiative brings together GCHQ and industry expertise in a way never seen before.

The accelerator aims to help start-ups rapidly develop their products and businesses and link with GCHQ.

Applications are now open for six software engineering start-ups to join the new three-month programme which will link them with technological expertise from across GCHQ to expand their capability, improve their business and further develop their cutting-edge products in areas including machine learning, automation and data engineering.

Bright Building part of MSP

Nick Chrissos, director of innovation at Cisco Europe: “We believe that collaborative innovation holds the answer to making the world a better, and in this case safer, place to live and do business.

“Doing things in a completely different way, creating new solutions, business models – even new markets.

“We’re extremely proud to have been asked by GCHQ to help apply our global expertise – particularly that built locally with MSP – to help GCHQ engage with the best and brightest of engineering talent.”

Jeremy Fleming, director GCHQ said: “Building on the success of our Cyber Accelerator, we will help the most innovative and creative tech start-ups develop cutting-edge products and contribute to the nation’s security.

“It’s also an amazing opportunity for GCHQ to engage with the vibrant tech community in Manchester ahead of the formal opening of our new office in 2019.”

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Jeremy Fleming

GCHQ’s Director General for Technology, who cannot be named for security reasons, has a special connection with Manchester.

“Manchester gave me some of the best years of my life as an engineering undergraduate,” he said. “Back then, I saw first-hand how brilliant the technology talent was in the North West.

“It still is today and I am really excited about our partnership with Wayra and our new accelerator in Manchester.

“It gives us a chance to tap into that talent and use it to help us with some of our hardest problems.

“It puts Manchester right into the heart of our mission to keep the UK and our digital homeland safe and secure.”

Sir Richard Leese

Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council, said: “We look forward to GCHQ’s expansion into Manchester city centre in summer next year, creating hundreds of jobs and complementing our thriving innovation culture.

“The Manchester engineering accelerator is an exciting early example of how their expertise will help further stimulate that tech sector and actively help promising ideas get off the ground.”

To find out more about the programme, or to apply visit https://wayra.co.uk/gchq/



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