Cyber Warriors changing the game for Worcestershire
PUBLISHED: 13:37 29 November 2016
Jan Sedlacek - Digitlight.co.uk
As Chancellor Philip Hammond announces the government's cybersecurity strategy will receive a boost of £1.9bn to crackdown on cyber-crime, Worcestershire is already changing the game with its cyber warriors based at Malvern Hills Science Park
Signposted to improve automated defences which safeguard UK residents and businesses, as well as support the cybersecurity industry to deter attacks from criminals, innovators at Malvern Hills Science Park (Malvern Hills) are already developing technologies which will help the government improve the UK’s ability to withstand cyber-attacks.
One of four ‘game changer’ sites across Worcestershire, Malvern Hills is leading the way in both cyber innovation and delivering Worcestershire County Council’s (WCC) vision to deliver a ‘World-Class Worcestershire’.
Working closely with Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), WCC is well on the way to deliver its aim of boosting the economic value of the county by around £2.9bn and creating 25,000 new jobs by 2025.
Home to QinetiQ, 3SDL, Borwell, UTC Aerospace Systems and Dephrisk, Malvern Hills is driving developments in cyber-security with the UK’s National Cyber Skills Centre sitting at its hub.
Seed funded by WCC, the National Cyber Skills Centre is a focal point for cyber activity and was set up as the UK’s only e-skills accredited centre. This coupled with the cluster of high profile cyber security companies based at Malvern is helping the LEP attract ground breaking businesses and new skills to the region.
Every area of life is impacted by cyber activity and is a key driver of business growth as Dr Stephen Wright, general manager of the National Cyber Skills Centre, explains: “Cyber is an intrinsic part of our private and business life and protecting it from being misused needs to be a priority.
“Businesses and individuals can defend themselves from 90 per cent of attacks by taking some basic defensive steps – it is just knowing what those steps are which is where we can help. Cybersecurity is an on-going threat and the knowledge based at Malvern Hills will help change the game for the region and UK.”
Already outperforming other counties by having the strongest growth in securing high-level workforce skills, Malvern Hills is putting Worcestershire on the map as world-leaders in cyber, IT and technology – a reputation which continues to grow.
“Worcestershire is open for business and we are seeing a real turn around in both investment to the area and the skills that investment brings,” says Dr Ken Pollock, Cabinet Member for Economy, Skills and Infrastructure. “We have the third fastest growing economy in the UK and a large part of this is the investment made in game changer site such as Malvern Hills. “Any cyber, defence, IT or technology business looking for a UK hub can see that Worcestershire has like-minded organisations which are keeping the UK safe by developing technologies to prevent cyber-attacks.”
Phase 5 is currently underway at Malvern Hills following a £4million investment from Worcestershire’s LEP. Phase 4 completed in 2015 following investment from WCC and Malvern Hills District Council.
“Malvern Hills is pivotal to the region’s growth strategy,” says Gary Woodman, executive director for Worcestershire’s Local Enterprise Partnership. “Expanding the science park will encourage businesses from the IT, cyber security and technology sectors to join this significant cyber-cluster and generate additional jobs in this high growth sector. “We aim to be the ‘go-to’ county for businesses looking for cyber support and we are already leading the way with the creation of the National Cyber Skills Centre.”
Malvern Hills Science Park is one of four game changer sites across the region including: Worcester Growth Corridor, South Kidderminster Enterprise Park and Redditch Eastern Gateway.