Wales is vying with London’s ‘Tech City’ to attract the brightest brains and most innovative start-ups.
Backed by EU grants and with easy access to the M4 corridor, the Welsh Government is promising academic excellence at the new University of South Wales and a good quality of life. Blighted valleys and towns that were devastated by the end of coal-mining and steel-making are staking their future on silicon.
Tech triangle links key towns
Neil Sandford of the Welsh Development Office says the aim is to link the USW campus with Great Malvern across the English border and GCHQ at nearby Cheltenham. Neil Sandford podcast. The new higher education institution linking the original University of Glamorgan with its sister institution in Newport will be a key driver – says Professor Andy Blyth – in building up the knowledge base for cyber security. Latest Government estimates predict a shortfall of four thousand staff as British businesses, banks and public bodies battle hackers and criminals.
Praise from cyber minister
Meanwhile on the other side of Offa’s Dyke – the ancient border between England and Wales – a ‘cyber cluster’is evolving around Malvern. Minister Chloe Smith has chosen it as an exemplar, citing a local partnership in a recent speech “A good example of this is an SME in Malvern, called IASME, a small business that has developed a cyber security standard specifically for SMEs. IASME has partnered with a local insurance provider (Sutcliffe and Co) underwritten by AIG to offer reduced premiums to those companies that are assured against the IASME standard. This approach is helping to grow these two small businesses, offering an innovative approach to cyber risk “