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Cyber security academic startup accelerator programme 2022-23: Phase 1

Opens:
7/2/2022
Closes:
2/3/2022
Sectors:
Defence and Security
Project Size:
Up to £32,000

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) – commercialisation strand
  2. Open strand

You will be asked to specify which funding strand you are applying for in your application.

In applying to this competition, you are entering into a competitive process. The competition closes at 11am UK time on the deadline stated.

Your project’s total eligible costs must be up to £32,000.

Eligibility

This competition offers two funding strands:

  1. Security of Digital Technologies at the Periphery (SDTaP) – commercialisation strand
  2. Open strand

You will be asked which funding strand you are applying for:

  1. The SDTaP – commercialisation strand, is open to eligible researchers from academic institutions that are active consortium members of the Privacy, Ethics, Trust, Reliability, Acceptability and Security (PETRAS).

Eligible researchers are those who have been funded from PETRAS as part of a research project. This strand offers commercialisation support for UKRI-funded project-based research results with promising innovation potential and societal impact. Applicable projects extend across the PETRAS current project portfolio as well as the legacy project portfolio of the PETRAS IoT Research Hub.

2. Open strand, is open for eligible individuals from academic institutions that are not eligible for the SDTaP – commercialisation strand.

This is phase 1 of a 2-phase competition.

Phase 1 will last up to 4 months, split into 2 stages

Your project must:

  • have total eligible costs for the two stages up to £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 2022
  • end on 31 July 2022

Lead applicant

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

Project team

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.

The grant will be paid to the academic institutions after each stage of phase 1. Each academic institution in the consortium will be funded individually, but the total funding for all academic partners must be no more than £32,000 for each application.

Building value proposition and market validation activities

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.

If we award you funding you must be dedicated to the project for the 2-month value proposition building activity from 1 April 2022. 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 2022.

'Dedicated to the project' means you must:

  1. attend 2 days of in-person events and 3 days of online events as part of the initial 2-month value proposition activity
  2. 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 Innovate UK KTN. You will be contacted by Innovate UK KTN with full details, including confirmed dates.

The planned dates for the value proposition stage are:

  1. 5 and 6 April 2022: value proposition bootcamp - (2 day in person event)
  2. 8 April 2022 1pm to 3pm: webinar for Technology Transfer Officers or equivalent (online event)
  3. 3 and 4 May 2022: value proposition mid-stage review (2 day online event)
  4. 30 or 31 May 2022: value proposition pitch to selection panel, teams must pitch at a slot on one of these two days (online event)

Innovate UK KTN will hold informal weekly 1-hour drop-in sessions during the value proposition stage. These are likely to be Friday mornings.

Before the formal start of the programme an informal introduction session is planned for the morning of Wednesday 23 March 2022.

If selected to undertake the additional 2 months for market validation, you must commit to attend 3 days of in person events and 2 days of online events, alongside optional in person or online attendance at Info Security Europe exhibition in London.

The planned dates are:

  1. 7 and 8 June 2022: market validation bootcamp (2 day in person event)
  2. 21 to 23 June 2022: Info Security Europe exhibition (London or online)
  3. 30 June and 1 July 2022: market validation mid-stage review (2 day online event)
  4. 28 or 29 July 2022: market validation pitch to selection panel (teams must pitch in person at a slot on one of these two days)

Multiple applications

You can submit more than one application if you have multiple ideas, but we will not select more than one for funding.

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:

  1. information systems (hardware, software and associated infrastructure)
  2. data on such systems
  3. 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:

  1. the area of your research
  2. the problem you are solving
  3. your proposed solution
  4. your initial market validation plan
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