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Consortium appointed to lead Manchester’s “cybersecurity innovation hotbed”

Heron House

Manchester City Council has selected a consortium, headed up by Barclays Eagle Labs, to operate the new Manchester Digital Innovation and Security Hub (DISH). 

DISH has been set up so that businesses, entrepreneurs, academics, public sector organisations and the voluntary sector can collaborate to identify digital security threats, and their response.

The 11,000sq ft hub will be based at Herons House, the home of GCHQ and its National Cyber Security Centre, and it will offer co-working space as well as access to state-of-the-art equipment and facilities, so that products can be developed and tested at speed.

“The past 12 months have provided a compelling illustration both of the increasingly complex threats to cybersecurity as more and more use is made of technology and the importance of investing in innovation,” explained Joanne Roney OBE, Chief Executive of Manchester City Council.

“There is a real opportunity now for Manchester to become a centre of excellence in developing new products to help safeguard both the public sector and businesses of all sizes. This will help drive economic growth and job creation in this fast-growing area which is emerging as one of Manchester’s distinctive strengths. The fact that we are emerging from the economic shock of a pandemic makes the Digital Innovation Security Hub all the more important.” 

The consortium partners are Barclays Eagle Labs, Plexal, Lancaster University and the University of Manchester. 

There will also be an accelerator hub, where start-ups and growing businesses can be helped through bespoke programmes and mentorship.

“Through this partnership, we have a great opportunity to accelerate the growth of Manchester’s digital security ecosystem, at a time when the industry is becoming ever more vital,” added Jon Hope, Director of Barclays Eagle Labs.

“We’ll bring the full benefits and the cybersecurity expertise we have in our UK wide Eagle Labs network, along with the world-leading knowledge and expertise of our partners Plexal, Lancaster University and the University of Manchester to make Greater Manchester a magnet for regional growth and DISH an epicentre of digital security innovation.” 

The Manchester Digital Innovation Security Hub is supported by Greater Manchester Combined Authority through the Local Growth Fund. 

DISH is expected to be up and running later this year. 

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