Local Cybersecurity Cluster to establish Northern Ireland as a recognised region of excellence
NI Cyber is a network of companies developing world-leading cybersecurity technologies from Northern Ireland, across a diverse range of sectors including finance, banking, insurance, legal, telecoms, threat intelligence, defence, security and healthcare.
Simon Whittaker, Founder of Vertical Structure and Chair of NI Cyber, explains, ‘The primary focus of NI Cyber is to establish Northern Ireland as a recognised region of excellence for cybersecurity products and services, resulting in accelerated business growth and productivity, and attraction and retention of talent in the sector.’
The network has recently been awarded grant support from Invest Northern Ireland through its Collaborative Growth Programme to appoint an independent facilitator who will carry out a scoping study to investigate the potential to establish a Northern Ireland cybersecurity collaborative cluster. A “collaborative cluster” is defined as a geographical concentration of businesses, training centres and public and private-sector research units working in partnership on innovative projects.
The NI Cyber cluster will work with SMEs, large companies in various sectors, and key government and academic stakeholders to identify how best to collectively promote business growth, knowledge sharing and collaboration opportunities for cybersecurity companies based in the region.
Gillian Colan-O’Leary, who has been appointed by NI Cyber to carry out the study on its behalf explained, “Successful, modern cities are driven by innovation, and foster clusters of excellence in specific industries. This attracts talent and investment into the city, and increases opportunities for companies to trade nationally and internationally. This is the objective with NI Cyber.” She added, “In these unprecedented times we’re looking at how we can support our members, and the wider community. We’re running a series of webinars addressing issues such as working from home safely, best practices for remote training, and managing fundraising during COVID-19.”
Niall Casey, Director of Skills and Competitiveness at Invest NI, commented, “Northern Ireland has a thriving cybersecurity sector and we are delighted to support NI Cyber through our Collaborative Growth Programme. The cluster will promote Northern Ireland as a global cybersecurity hub, building on its blend of world-class talent, forensic science expertise and tech research excellence to grow employment opportunities and positively impact our local economy.”