COVID-19 cyber security solution accelerator opens

Written by Hannah McGrath

The London Office for Rapid Cybersecurity Advancement (LORCA) has opened applications to join its fifth cohort of cyber security scale-ups, with particular focus on solutions adapted to the Coronavirus outbreak.

For the next cohort of its 12-month programme, LORCA is prioritising those businesses that are tackling disinformation and the need to secure the digital citizen, including solutions catering to disparate teams at a time when the majority of the working population are doing so from home.

In a statement, LORCA said: “The risks associated with remote working and other new practices adopted to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, show that businesses and individuals need robust cyber security systems more than ever.”

Delivered by Plexal - the innovation centre based at Here East in the Olympic Park - the year-long programme will support selected companies to scale, secure investment, access new markets and expand their international presence, with the ultimate aim of growing the British cyber security industry and making the internet safer for everyone.

Those accepted onto the programme will receive business mentoring, connections to investors and get access to commercial and engineering expertise from LORCA’s delivery partners, Deloitte and the Centre for Secure Information Technologies at Queen’s University Belfast.

LORCA connects its members with dedicated corporate partners - including Lloyds Banking Group, Dell Technologies, Kx, Kudelski Security and the Global Cyber Alliance - as well as a broad cross-section of industry stakeholders through events, forums and introductions.

In light of COVID-19, LORCA will be taking a digital-first approach for this cohort, with all course curriculum and some events being delivered virtually.

Saj Huq, programme director at LORCA, said: “As well as meeting the needs of industry today, LORCA catalyses innovation that caters to the cybersecurity challenges on the horizon that will intersect both society and business and require new models of collaboration to solve.

“Coupled with this, the current global pandemic has underlined and increased our reliance on technology, and with this, it has brought very real cyber security challenges to the fore."

LORCA launched in June 2018 with funding from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport. Since then, the programme has significantly surpassed its investment target, with venture capital investment in LORCA companies now at over £86 million.

The deadline for applying is 4 May.