Cisco to help establish GCHQ ‘Engineer Accelerator’ in Manchester

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20/09/2018

We’re delighted to be announcing that Cisco and Manchester Science Partnerships (MSP) are partnering with GCHQ and Wayra to help them tap into the brightest software engineering start-ups in the UK. This ground-breaking initiative brings together GCHQ and industry expertise in a way never seen before through the launch of an ‘engineer accelerator’ in the heart of Manchester.

As one of the world’s leading security organisation, Cisco sees and stops more threats a day than Google sees searches. That puts us in a unique place to help.

And we don’t innovate for the sake of it. We have proven, rigorous processes that commercialise results to everyone’s benefit. Not to mention the hunger, drive and ambition of a start-up. But, with almost 30 years of experience in the UK, a network of over 500,000 developers and the resources of a multi-billion dollar global business. That’s a powerful combination.

Together with MSP, we’ll help connect the programme with Manchester’s strong culture of innovation, which is built on the city’s unique engineering heritage. The Accelerator will help start-ups rapidly develop their products and businesses and link GCHQ with the vibrant Manchester tech scene.

Applications are now open for software engineering start-ups to join the new three-month programme which will be an integral part of developing GCHQ methodologies and capabilities.

The programme will give up to six start-ups time with world-class personnel and technological expertise from across GCHQ, enabling them to expand their capability, improve their business and further develop their cutting-edge products in areas including machine learning, automation and data engineering.

Nick Chrissos, Director of Innovation, Cisco Europe:

We believe that collaborative innovation holds the answer to making the world a better, and in this case safer, place to live and do business. Doing things in a completely different way, creating new solutions, business models – even new markets. We’re extremely proud to have been asked by GCHQ to help apply our global expertise – particularly that built locally with MSP – to help GCHQ engage with the best and brightest of engineering talent.”

Jeremy Fleming, Director GCHQ said:

“I’m pleased to announce our new GCHQ Engineering Accelerator in the heart of Manchester. Building on the success of our Cyber Accelerator, we will help the most innovative and creative tech start-ups develop cutting-edge products and contribute to the nation’s security. It’s also an amazing opportunity for GCHQ to engage with the vibrant tech community in Manchester ahead of the formal opening of our new office in 2019.”

GCHQ’s Director General for Technology has a special connection with Manchester:

“Manchester gave me some of the best years of my life as an engineering undergraduate.  Back then, I saw first-hand how brilliant the technology talent was in the North West.  It still is today and I am really excited about our partnership with Wayra and our new Accelerator in Manchester.  It gives us a chance to tap into that talent and use it to help us with some of our hardest problems.  It puts Manchester right into the heart of our mission to keep the UK and our digital homeland safe and secure.”

Sir Richard Leese, Head of GMC, said:
“We look forward to GCHQ’s expansion into Manchester City Centre in Summer next year, creating hundreds of jobs and complementing our thriving innovation culture.  The Manchester Engineering Accelerator is an exciting early example of how their expertise will help further stimulate that tech sector and actively help promising ideas get off the ground.”

To find out more about the programme, or to apply before 19th October 2019: https://www.wayra.co.uk/programs/gchq-manchester-engineering-accelerator