Cyber security academic startups programme

Key Features

Innovate UK in partnership with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) will invest up to £500k in innovative cyber security ideas coming from the academic research base.

Programme:     Innovate UK in partnership with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS)

Award:     Up to £16k

Opens: 22nd Jan 2018

Closes: 31st Jan 2018

! This scheme is now closed

The aim of this competition is to identify the best commercial opportunities in academia in respect to cyber security. Your proposal should include:

  • the area of your research
  • the problem you are solving
  • your proposed solution

Innovate UK and DCMS will only fund projects that:

  • are cyber security focused
  • have a clear intention to commercialise
  • are UK based
  • have the support of your academic institution to commercialise
    By ‘cyber security’ Innovate UK and DCMS  mean: protecting information systems (hardware, software and associated infrastructure), the data on them, and the services they provide, from unauthorised access, harm or misuse.

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

To participate in and complete the programme, successful applicants must attend 3 events in London. The planned dates are:

  • 14 and 15 February: 2-day boot camp
  • 8 March: 1 or 2-day mid-programme review
  • 22 or 23 March: 1-day pitch to selection panel

The grant may be used to fund salary, travel and accommodation expenses for the individual that will take part in the programme.


To be eligible for funding you must:

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

All individuals based in a UK academic institution are eligible, including but not limited to early career researchers and senior academic researchers.

Applicants must be dedicated to the project for the 6 week duration from mid-February.

The grant will be paid at the end of the programme to the academic institution only.

Project size

Projects can have total costs up to £16k paid as a grant. If your cost is higher this will still be considered but justification needs to be provided in the application.


There is up to £500k to fund cyber security ideas through this competition.

There are plans to accept up to 30 applications.

Applicants can apply for funding support up to 100% of their eligible project costs.