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Surrey recognised as cyber security cluster

By Sam Pither
30 June 2022

The UK Cyber Cluster Collaboration (UKC3) have officially recognised the Surrey as a cluster within the cyber security sector following their application in May 2022.

Cyber clusters support the growth of the cyber sector throughout the UK, being uniquely positioned with a regional focus and highly engaged communities of cyber security businesses.

In order to qualify for UKC3 cluster recognition, Surrey needed to demonstrate its commitment to supporting cyber sector growth in the region; capacity to deliver tangible impacts related to innovation, growth and skills; robust governance structures; and proof that its operations will be in line with UKC3’s Operating Framework.

As well as hosting large cyber companies such as BAE Systems Applied Intelligence, Cap Gemini, F5, CGI, Cisco and VMW, Surrey has a number of small and medium cyber businesses. It also boasts two of the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre’s Gold Standard Universities – Royal Holloway University and University of Surrey.

Tim Oliver, the leader of Surrey County Council, said: “Surrey County Council is incredibly proud that our region has been recognised by the UKC3 as an official Cyber Security Cluster.

“This initiative is a perfect example of how collaboration can impact not only individual organisations, but a whole business sector and has launched what we’re hoping will be a strong and productive partnership between cyber specialists from the region’s private, public and university sectors.

“Surrey County Council and Invest in Surrey have been integral to the facilitation and development of these partnerships, as well as putting together the formal application for UKC3. We will continue to offer support to those within the cluster, as it seeks to develop the key skills, business support and infrastructure requirements to support and grow our existing and new businesses within this critically important sector.”

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Surrey County Council’s Economy and Growth team worked with business leaders, Royal Holloway University London and University of Surrey to develop Surrey’s offer. This work saw the group conducting a review of Surrey’s contribution to the cyber security sector, as well as the growth and potential for the future.

Ioana Boureanu, Deputy Director of the Surrey Centre for Cyber Security, and the University of Surrey’s Cluster Advisor Board member, said: “At the University of Surrey, we have a longstanding relationship with the cyber security sector, in our research as well via degree programmes with industrial placements.

“This cluster gives us new opportunities to better train the next generation of cyber security professionals by being in closer tandem with local industry, as well as working together to shape the cyber security views and vision in the local area, at a prime time for the sector.”

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Royal Holloway’s research in cyber security has been recognised by GCHQ and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), one of only three universities in the UK to achieve such status.

Chris Mitchell from Royal Holloway University said: “We depend on information and communications technologies in almost every aspect of our lives, so cyber security has become a fundamental necessity for us all.

“Collaboration between the commercial and academic worlds is essential to both give motivation for new research and enable the latest innovations to be exploited. The Surrey Cyber Security Cluster will play a key role in this by bringing together key players across industry, commerce and academia to help develop new cyber technologies and promote their adoption and use.”

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