LORCA launches open call for fourth cohort of cybersecurity innovators
- The government-backed cyber innovation centre announces Connected Economy, Connected Everyone and Connected Everything as its three innovation themes, which it will use to recruit its next scaleup programme intake
- The most promising companies will receive a year of bespoke support to scale quickly, with LORCA taking zero equity or IP
London, 24th September: The London Office for Rapid Cybersecurity Advancement (LORCA) today launches a global open call for its fourth cohort of cyber scaleups. LORCA, which is delivered by Plexal (the innovation centre at Here East), will select up to 20 scaleups for its 12-month scaleup programme.
The latest cohort will receive bespoke support with scaling in the UK and abroad, as well as access to commercial and engineering experts through delivery partners Deloitte and the Centre for Secure Information Technologies (CSIT) at Queen’s University Belfast. The deadline for applying is Monday 4 November 2019, with full details available at lorca.co.uk/apply
LORCA is inviting applications based on three innovation themes after consulting with industry leaders from various sectors about their most pressing cyber challenges and the types of solutions they need from the market in the future. The three cross-cutting themes (Connected Economy, Connected Everything and Connected Everyone) relate to the macro challenges faced by business and society as our world becomes more digitised and connected.
Saj Huq, Programme Director, LORCA, commented: “As technology increasingly impacts all aspects of business and society, it’s clear that a cybersecurity paradigm shift is needed. Now more than ever, we need to support the development of cutting-edge innovations across the board to help us lead safer digital lives, keep our infrastructure secure and protect our digital economy from complex and evolving cyber threats. Given its increasing significance within a world that is more connected by the day, cybersecurity has to be everywhere – and serve everyone.”
LORCA’s innovation themes
LORCA’s thematic approach to recruitment is targeted at a broad range of innovators who can solve real-world cyber challenges across a variety of business and societal contexts.
1. Connected Economy
In a post-breach world where technology is disrupting business models and our economy is more connected than ever, cybersecurity isn’t just about protecting data: it’s key to enabling sustainable growth. How can we enable organisations to stay resilient in the face of security threats across their supply chains and networks? And how can they futureproof themselves by building security into everything they do?
2. Connected Everyone
Our homes, workspaces, cities and personal space have never been so connected, yet the movement to secure them is in its infancy. How can we empower people to feel in control of their digital presence, build trust in technology –and make sure nobody is left out?
3. Connected Everything
From our transport infrastructure to the National Grid, our digital and physical worlds are converging as they become connected to the internet at lightning pace. With so much to win and lose for society, how can we solve the multi-dimensional security challenges which are emerging through hyper connectivity? And how can we collaborate with a broader spectrum of fields to build cyber principles into every access point for the internet?
Paul Branley, Director of Strategy, Innovation & Testing at Lloyds Banking Group, said: “Lloyds Banking Group partnered with the London Office for Rapid Cyber Security Advancement (LORCA) in June 2018 for three reasons. Firstly, in recognition that incremental change isn’t enough and we need a transformative approach to keep ahead of the threat. Secondly, we also wanted to gain early access to cutting edge ideas, technologies and innovative companies. Thirdly, as part of our business strategy to Help Britain Prosper, by ensuring the UK is a leader on the global stage with modern cybersecurity. We are looking to cohort 4 to achieve the above for some of the biggest cybersecurity challenges in the ever increasingly connected world.”
Louise Cushnahan, Head of Innovation, CSIT commented: “The three themes this cohort will be drawn from are tightly aligned with CSIT’s internationally leading multidisciplinary research roadmap of secure connected intelligence. Our engineering and research teams are primed and ready to work side by side with this next crop of innovative cyber security companies. CSIT’s new Cyber Range came on stream earlier this year and it will be used to maximum impact as we help companies iterate their secure solutions.”
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LORCA’s objective is to grow the UK’s cybersecurity sector and make the internet safer for everyone by supporting the most promising later-stage companies. Through its forums, programmes and events, it convenes academia, innovators, government, investors and industry (including partners Lloyds Banking Group, Dell Technologies, Kudelski Security and the Global Cyber Alliance) into a cross-sector, non-competitive and collaborative ecosystem.
Designed and delivered by the Plexal innovation team, LORCA’s 12-month accelerator programmes are matched to each cohort’s needs. Members benefit from international trade delegations, opportunities to engage with industry, mentoring and workshops on everything from marketing to scaling globally. They also benefit from engineering, commercial and technical support from delivery partners Deloitte and CSIT.
LORCA launched in June 2018 with backing from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) as part of the Government’s five-year, £1.9 billion National Cyber Security Strategy. LORCA is tasked with supporting 72 scaling companies, creating up to 2,000 jobs and securing £40m in investment by 2021.
Since then, companies from cohorts one, two and three have raised over £58m in investment and won 514 contracts. Notable success stories include cyber company ZoneFox being acquired by Fortinet, CyberOwl winning a contract with the Ministry of Defence as a result of being involved with the programme and working with delivery partner Deloitte and Privatar raising $40m in a Series B round.
Plexal is an innovation centre and coworking space located in the fast-growing Here East technology and innovation campus in London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
Collaboration is at the heart of Plexal’s approach to innovation. Its innovation team delivers bespoke programmes for clients like Innovate UK and Transport for London, and specialises in forging connections between industry, academia, investors, startups and scaleups to tackle some of the biggest challenges facing society while getting ideas market-ready.
Plexal has been appointed by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport to deliver the London Office for Rapid Cybersecurity Advancement (LORCA): an innovation programme aimed at scaling cybersecurity solutions that are needed most by industry.
It’s also delivered OpenDoor: an inclusion accelerator aimed at scaling solutions that can make society and our economy more inclusive while addressing the challenges of under-represented groups.
Designed as a mini-city (it has its own indoor park, a high street, indoor street food and a prototyping workshop), startup and scaleup members of Plexal’s workspace benefit from a comprehensive programme of events and in-house professional services. Members work in areas like mobility, AI, healthtech, cybersecurity, fintech, the Internet of Things, VR and more.
Plexal was launched in 2017 and was founded by clients of specialist real estate investment advisory company Delancey.
For more information visit: plexal.com