Scotland continues to retain and develop a strong economy and business base, a highly productive and skilled workforce, a proven track record of innovation and a “much-vaunted quality of life”. Three of Scotland’s largest cities have been recognised as amongst the UK’s top innovation hubs. Recent research has also named Edinburgh as Britain’s most innovative city outside of London, with Glasgow ranked second.

The Cyber Cluster Team at ScotlandIS continues to contribute and drive significant collaborative activity across many sectors in Scotland principally in the cyber domain. Cross sector collaboration and engagement continues to grow across all other clusters.

The team continues to work with the UK and Scottish Government statutory authorities, trade bodies and industry associations to provide holistic support to our start-up community in business development, growth initiatives, governance, commercial growth opportunities and new customer introductions.

Through UKC3 support, which funded a project to focus on cyber start-ups in Scotland we have been able to increase engagement with these companies including identifying new ones not previously engaged with the cluster. Through this work we have seen an increase in 15% of cyber start-ups we are now engaged with and able to support through the work of the cluster.

The number of Cyber Startups continues to grow with increased executive and C-suite recognition of the increased cyber threat to all businesses such as the cyber threat associated with Ukrainian geopolitical tension, the recent Log4Shell vulnerability, Conti ransomware, Kaseya, SolarWinds, and Microsoft Exchange attacks.

The start-up programme continues to deliver in cross sector networking, making introductions and connections to accelerate growth amongst many Scottish Cyber Startups, with a focus on developing and implementing a growth strategy including new and existing markets, new product development and building teams to deliver.

The discovery, recruitment and reciprocal enthusiastic engagement of new start-ups also reflect cyber industry trends of improved cyber accreditation, exercising, IR support training and preparation in both innovative service and product based technologies.

Such examples of recent integrations include

  1. the introduction of a start-up Cyber Training company to a similar start-up within the Scottish gaming industry with an aspiration to further develop their Cyber Training gamification platforms as a potential delivery product for their existing and developing client base.
  2. the introduction of a start-up cyber security Penetration testing company to a Scottish based large scale hardware, endpoint and solutions provider to enhance reciprocal business opportunities and improved cyber security with the supply chain.
  3. the introduction of a start-up cyber software solutions company to an established global app based office provider and a separate global IT consultancy service with a view to develop reciprocal business growth opportunities and enhanced security.
  4. the introduction of numerous Scottish start-ups to Entrepreneurial Scotland USA and an additional global IT and business consultancy provider, seeking business opportunities and growth to a wider international audience.
  5. practical advice and assistance to a Scottish based cyber training company in the establishment of their interactive training environment in Glasgow
  6. the introduction of numerous Scottish cyber start-ups developing trailblazing cybercrime preventative technologies to Police Scotland and UK law enforcement agencies.

The cyber cluster team also ran a Cyber start-up roundtable where we discussed the challenges facing the cyber start-ups. In partnership with the Cyber Runway we supporting the delivery of a 2-day event aimed at Scottish start-ups and SMEs. We are also continuing to find ways to showcase and raise the profile of our start-ups via case studies, promoting the Cyber Runway programme and working closely with Wavestone on their cyber start-up radar as some examples.