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) – this is only open to researchers who have received funding from PETRAS
  2. CyberASAP – open, see below

Your project must:

  • have total eligible costs for the two stages between £5,000 and £32,000
  • have total eligible costs for the first stage up to £16,000
  • have total eligible costs for the second stage up to £16,000
  • start on 1 April 2021
  • end on 31 July 2021

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

To collaborate with the lead, you must:

  • be based in a UK academic institution
  • be interested in the commercialisation of the idea
  • have the support of your academic institution’s technology transfer office, or equivalent
  • be invited to take part by the lead applicant

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

If we award you funding you must be dedicated to the project for the 2-month value proposition building activity from 1 April 2021. 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 2021. ‘Dedicated to the project’ means you must:

  • attend 5 days of online events as part of the initial 2-month value proposition activity
  • 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 Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN). You will be contacted by KTN with full details, including confirmed dates.

The planned dates for the value proposition stage are:

  • 1 April 2021: value proposition bootcamp – part 1 (1 day)
  • 15 April: value proposition bootcamp – part 2 (1 day)
  • 29 and 30 April 2021: value proposition mid-stage review (2 day event)
  • 26 or 27 May 2021: value proposition pitch to selection panel (teams must pitch at a slot on one of these two days)

All events will take place online.

KTN will hold informal weekly 1-hour drop-in sessions during phase 1. These are likely to be Friday mornings.

Before the formal start of the programme an informal introduction session is planned for the morning of Tuesday 23 March 2021.

To participate in and complete the additional 2 months for market validation, applicants recommended by the selection panel must commit to attend 5 days of online events, and one day attending the Info Security Europe exhibition in London or online.

The planned dates are:

  • 8 June: Info Security Europe exhibition (London or online)
  • 9 and 10 June: market validation bootcamp (2 days)
  • 30 June and 1 July: market validation mid-stage review (2 day event)
  • 21 or 22 July: market validation pitch to selection panel (teams must pitch at a slot on one of these two days)

Participants in phase 1 with ideas that demonstrate the most potential for commercialisation will be invited to apply to participate in phase 2, where funding is available to develop a proof of concept for the product or service.

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:

  • information systems (hardware, software and associated infrastructure)
  • data on such systems
  • 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.

Your project must include:

  • the area of your research
  • the problem you are solving
  • your proposed solution
  • your initial market validation plan

An online briefing event will be held on Tuesday 9th February at 10:30am – join here (direct Zoom link, click this link a few minutes before the start time)