Businesses within Greater Manchester’s digital and tech sector will receive a boost thanks to funding from Manchester Metropolitan University as part of a £1.2million project to develop cyber-security innovations.

Partnering with five North West universities, Manchester Met will come together with entrepreneurs, investors and government to transform cutting-edge knowledge into innovative new products, services and policy, with the aim of better protecting consumers, businesses and UK infrastructure.

Martha Sama, Director of Innovation Development at Manchester Met said:

 “This major project will bring together expertise across the North West to ensure businesses have the support they need when it comes to developing their cyber security and supporting growth.”

“Manchester Met has a proud history of supporting the SME community and this partnership will develop this even further, as well as supporting the government’s wider plans to establish Manchester at the heart of the North West Cyber Corridor.”

Led by Lancaster University and funded by Research England’s Connecting Capability Fund (CCF), the new ‘North West Cyber Security Connect for Commercialisation (NW CyberCom)’ project will draw on established partnerships with the National Cyber Force and GCHQ to develop and provide bespoke training for university researchers focused on supporting the region’s businesses. 

The NW CyberCom project will see Manchester Met partner with Lancaster University, University of Manchester, University of Salford, University of Liverpool and University of Central Lancashire. 

The project will also be supported by Plexal, a Manchester-based innovation company helping businesses, startups and industry to collaborate with government to help deliver national security and prosperity; Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and lead consultancy, CRSI.

Saj Huq, Plexal’s CCO and Head of Innovation said:

“At Plexal, we’ve repeatedly seen the value of closing the gap between organisations for collaboration. Therefore, we’re thrilled to further our commitment to the North West and our local partners through NW CyberCom, which will be transformative for academia and enterprise – particularly where those two fields collide to produce innovative spinouts. We’re already working with Lancaster University and University of Manchester as part of the Digital Security Hub consortium and are excited to expand on our work together.”

Strengthening the city-region’s position within the sector, the new research project will provide valuable support to its businesses and economic growth – ensuring the North West becomes the go-to place for companies looking for investment, investors looking to increase deal proposals, and businesses who need access to the latest technology and thinking in the cyber space.

This funding announcement builds on growing momentum to strengthen the North West Cyber Corridor and further demonstrates the growing importance of the region as a powerhouse for national cyber security.