An insight into Cybersecurity in the U.S. by Andy Williams, Cyber Advisor, Defence and Security Organisation

Posted on: 11/06/2020

This perspective is one in a series of blogs from experts of the cyber innovation environment.

Related events

The blogs follow on from Cybersecurity Global Expert Missions and the outcomes will be presented and shared on our webinar in July.

We hope you can join us! Details are below.


Strengthening Cybersecurity Collaborations – Outcomes from missions to Singapore, Israel & USA, Online Webinar, 7 July 2020, 11am (UK time)

Between June 2018 and October 2019, three Global Expert Missions took place to Singapore, the USA and Israel to better understand their research and innovation landscapes and to establish potential opportunities for collaboration in the cybersecurity sector. This webinar will present the findings and insights from delegates and allow attendees to pose questions to a panel. It will provide a holistic and wide viewpoint of the capabilities identified during the Global Expert Missions and will showcase key opportunities for UK businesses who may be interested in international collaboration. We hope you can join us for this fantastic networking opportunity.

For more information and to register, click here.




Following the Expert Missions, Andy Williams tells us about his experience in the cyber innovation environment:

The report on Innovate UK’s Global Expert Mission on Cybersecurity to the US East Coast in 2019 (Cybersecurity in USA 2019) describes the delegation’s engagement with a wide range of federal, state and local government agencies, academic institutions and industry groups in the US cyber innovation ecosystem.

As the delegation discovered, and I can confirm from my experience as UK Cyber Envoy in Washington DC (2015 – 2017), the US cyber innovation support landscape is large and complex. It includes multiple stakeholders at federal, state and local level, many of whose missions seem to the uninitiated to overlap or compete.

To help UK companies consider engaging with the US cyber innovation support ecosystem, I will briefly focus here on the programmes of two of the largest and most significant US federal government agencies: The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and The US Department of Defense (DOD).

About The Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate

The DHS Science and Technology Directorate manages the federal civil government’s support for cyber R&D and innovation.

Its Silicon Valley Program “expands DHS S&T’s reach to find new technologies…the program reaches out to innovation communities across the nation and around the world to harness the commercial R&D ecosystem for technologies with government applications and to co-invest in and accelerate technology transition-to-market.”

Following an introduction to DHS S&T by the UK Department for International Trade (DIT) in 2017, the UK facial verification technology company iProov secured funding through a fast-track application and pitch process (see “Other Transaction Solicitations” on the SVIP website,) to improve the screening of international passengers at US ports of entry. This was the culmination of a long and exciting journey for iProov, which has been the previous recipient of 15 grants from Innovate UK.

About The Defense Innovation Unit (DIU)

The Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) is a United States Department of Defense (DoD).

The DIUstrengthens national security by accelerating the adoption of commercial technology throughout the military and growing the national security innovation base.”

In 2016, UK DIT assisted with discussions between UK simulation technology company Improbable Worlds and the DIU of US DoD which led to the subsequent award of $5.8m to Improbable to build a simulation sandbox for real world modelling and planning (for further details, see this news article in Defense News). DIU’s website contains more information on how to engage with DIU.

Contact Details

To learn more about how The UK Department for International Trade helps UK cybersecurity companies to understand and engage with overseas business opportunities, contact

Andy Williams

Cyber Advisor to the DIT Cyber Exports Team
UK Defence and Security Organisation

About Global Expert Missions

Innovate UK’s Global Missions Programme is one of its most important tools to support the UK’s Industrial Strategy’s ambition for the UK to be the international partner of choice for science and innovation. Global collaborations are crucial in meeting the Industrial Strategy’s Grand Challenges and will be further supported by the launch of a new International Research and Innovation Strategy. The Global Expert Missions, led by the Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN), play an important role in building strategic partnerships, providing deep insight into the opportunities for UK innovation and shaping future programmes.


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