London cyber innovation centre expands global ties

London innovation centre Plexal has announced international partnerships aimed at boosting global cyber security cooperation

Innovation centre Plexal, home to the government-backed London cyber security innovation centre Lorca, has announced partnerships with the Global Cyber Alliance (GCA), the City of New York’s chief technology officer in the mayor’s office and the New York Economic Development Corporation.

The partnerships are designed to help cyber security companies scale internationally while also expanding Plexal’s role as a global cyber security cluster by building on the launch of the London Office for Rapid Cybersecurity Advancement (Lorca) in June 2018.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) appointed Plexal to deliver the three-year innovation programme aimed at scaling cyber security solutions that are needed most by industry. The second cohort of companies to benefit from the programme was announced earlier this month and will focus on user-centric security and securing supply chains.

In terms of its international remit, Lorca’s Industry Advisory Board includes representation from Cyber Spark, an Israeli cyber innovation hub, and the National University of Singapore, among others. Lorca also works closely with the Department for International Trade and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to connect Lorca members to international networks through delegations and trade missions.

The GCA is now a supporting partner of Plexal, which said that as a global, collaborative non-profit dedicated to reducing cyber risk, the GCA has an extensive network of dedicated partners around the world and brings a wealth of cyber security expertise from government and the private sector to share with Plexal members and members of the Lorca cohort to help them shape their products into viable solutions that solve real-world cyber challenges. 

The partnership with the City of New York Mayor’s Office of the chief technology officer and the New York Economic Development Corporation will see Plexal be the UK lead for the NYCx Cybersecurity Moonshot Challenge, with a focus on creating better cyber security solutions for small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs).

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Plexal said it will ensure UK innovators are well represented as challenge participants and also act as the primary UK landing pad for challenge winners. Plexal will provide consultation, demo opportunities and a base for winners to develop in the UK through free co-working space and support at Plexal’s hub at Here East, London.

“The partnership is aimed at establishing strong connections between cyber innovators based in New York City and the UK, enabling sharing of knowledge and resources that is vital to solving cyber security challenges on a global scale,” Plexal said in announcing the partnership.

Andrew Roughan, managing director of Plexal, said sharing knowledge and being open to cooperation between global cyber innovators and industry is more important than ever.

“We’re looking forward to deepening our links with new global partners and acting as the UK landing pad and connector. These important partnerships with the New York Development Corporation and the Global Cyber Alliance will mean the emerging cyber stars we support can have even greater direct access to new markets and the networks they need to succeed.”

Andy Bates, GCA executive director for UK and Europe, Middle East and Africa, said innovation and entrepreneurship are key to shoring up cyber defences. “The GCA is pleased to partner with Plexal and Lorca and participate in their program to work with scaleups working on cyber security challenges.”

James Patchett, president and CEO at the New York City Economic Development Corporation, said cyber security is one of the world’s greatest threats.

“We need to be ambitious about protecting ourselves, and that’s why we’re making New York City a hotbed for cyber innovation, to protect every New Yorker and every business – all while creating good-paying jobs,” he said. “We’re proud to help launch this important challenge, which will benefit New York City and create game-changing technology for the world to share.” 

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