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Universities Join Forces with £6m Cybersecurity Scheme for Manchester's SMEs

almost 6 years ago by Lucy Cinder

Universities Join Forces with £6m Cybersecurity Scheme for Manchester's SMEs

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The University of Manchester will be part of a new £6 million cybersecurity scheme launching today (Monday 3 September)

The initiative, which will be known as the GM Cyber Foundry, is in collaboration with Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU), Lancaster University and the University of Salford. The scheme will protect Greater Manchester’s small and medium-sized companies against malicious computer attacks.

Cyberattacks pose a £860m risk to the region’s businesses each year according to estimates by the Lloyds City Risk Register. To combat these threats some of the region’s leading universities are combining expertise and research in cybersecurity to create new products and services for SMEs.

The Foundry will match the research strengths of each university to the business needs of the local community; projects therefore can be developed in a targeted and streamlined way through business development intervention. It will also enable cybersecurity research capability, which is in great demand in the region, to be managed efficiently.

Dr Daniel Dresner, Academic Coordinator for Cyber Security in School of Computer Science at The University of Manchester says: “We'll jointly run targeted business engagement sessions, to supply specialised cybersecurity support and guidance, and also identify projects that can harness research and innovation expertise from the four partner universities. The goal is to see the development novel cybersecurity products and services.”

Manchester’s vibrant digital and creative sector generates more than £3bn in economic output each year the city is growing as a centre for digital excellence, as seen with the opening of a Government Communications Agency site (GCHQ) in the city next year.

Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, says: “Through the work of the Cyber Foundry, our world-leading universities are giving start-ups and SMEs the freedom they need to create and innovate, but within digital environments that are safe and secure from cyber criminals.

“With over £25m being invested in fibre broadband connectivity, a planned £5m Cyber Innovation Centre, and the new GCHQ site, Greater Manchester is both a major hub for digital development and research, and a trusted place to do business.

“Greater Manchester is a rapidly expanding software and technology hotbed, and we’re perfectly positioned to become one of the top-five digital city-regions in Europe.”

The GM Cyber Foundry has been approved by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, which allocated £3m of European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) funding to the scheme.

Dr Dresner added: “I'm thrilled to be working with SMEs again on pragmatic, applied cybersecurity research to make working in GMCA's business ecosystem that bit safer.

“Direct innovation with them is the next logical step after my part in a Technology Strategy Board supported project that created the only information security benchmark designed with SMEs in mind.”


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