Cyber security academic startup accelerator programme 2022-23: phase 1

Individuals based in a UK academic institution can apply for a share of up to £800,000 to join the cyber security academic startup accelerator programme (CyberASAP).

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This is phase 1 of a 2-phase competition. Your project's costs can be up to £16,000 for each stage. Applicants can apply for funding for up to 100% of eligible project costs. This can only cover salary, programme related travel within the UK, accommodation if necessary and subsistence.


Innovate UK

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The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) will work with Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, to invest up to £800,000 in innovation cyber security projects coming from an academic research base.

The aim of this competition is to identify the most promising commercial opportunities. Your proposal must include the area of your research, the problem that you are solving and your proposed solution.

The Cyber Security Academic Startup Accelerator Programme (CyberASAP) is a 1-year programme. This is phase 1 of a 2-phase competition. Phase 1 will last up to 4 months, split into 2 stages:

  1. An initial 2 months for value proposition development activities, followed by a presentation to an independent judging panel who will select teams to go to stage 2.
  2. A further 2 months for market validation activities.

Phase 1 will determine the value of the idea and, if appropriate, identify the best commercial route to progress. The programme will be supported by industry experts, including some from cyber security.

This competition has two funding strands for entry:

  1. Security of Digital Technologies at the Periphery (SDTaP) – commercialisation strand
  2. Open strand

You will be asked to specify which funding strand you are applying for in your application. The SDTaP – commercialisation strand, is open to eligible researchers from academic institutions that are active consortium members of the Privacy, Ethics, Trust, Reliability, Acceptability and Security (PETRAS) consortium. Eligible researchers are those who have been funded from PETRAS as part of a research project. All others should apply for the open strand.

To be eligible for funding or to collaborate, you must:

  • be based in a UK academic institution
  • be interested in the commercialisation of a cyber security idea
  • have the support of your academic institution’s technology transfer office, or equivalent

If we award you funding you must be dedicated to the project for the 2-month value proposition building activity from 1 April 2022. If we decide you can continue to the market validation activity you must be dedicated for the additional 2 months until the end of July 2022.

‘Dedicated to the project’ means you must:

  1. attend 2 days of in-person events and 3 days of online events as part of the initial 2-month value proposition activity
  2. be able and be permitted to work on your project for at least 2 days a week in order to make it a success

The events will be organised by the Innovate UK KTN. You will be contacted by Innovate UK KTN with full details, including confirmed dates. Click here to see the list of currently planned dates.

The aim of this competition is to identify the most promising commercial opportunities in academia in respect to cyber security.

We define ‘cyber security’ to mean protecting any or all the following from unauthorised access, harm or misuse:

  1. information systems (hardware, software and associated infrastructure)
  2. data on such systems
  3. services provided by information systems

This includes harm caused intentionally by the operator of the system, or accidentally, as a result of failing to follow security procedures.

An online briefing event will be held on 8th February at 12 noon: click here for the joining link.

For more details on the programme please go to the CyberASAP siteemail or provide your details here.

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The only pre-seed accelerator programme in the cybersecurity ecosystem, CyberASAP (Cyber Security Academic Startup Accelerator Programme) plays a unique and vital role in supporting cyber security innovation and commercialisation.


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