A select group of leading cyber businesses and organisations from the Midlands and Maryland USA met last week (5 June) to build on cyber trade and investment opportunities in their respective regions.
In June 2017 Sir John Peace, Chair of the Midlands Engine and Larry Hogan, Governor of Maryland signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on behalf of Midlands Engine Cyber and the state of Maryland Department of Commerce which was led by Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).
This MOU recognised the Midlands’ regional excellence and international reputation for cyber security. This history began in the 1940s when Winston Churchill selected Malvern in Worcestershire as a safe place away from the London bombings to test radar technology to support WW2 efforts. This led to the establishment of the Telecommunications Research Establishment (TRE) from which the global security and technology company, QinetiQ, grew.
Worcestershire is a hotbed of cyber talent and is now home to 20% of the UK’s top cyber companies. The area is known nationally as ‘Cyber Valley’, due to this cluster and proximity to GCHQ, QinetiQ and the Special Services in Hereford.
Equally, Maryland has a similar cluster due to its proximity to the National Security Agency (NSA) and Department of Defence headquarters. This shared expertise provided the platform for what has been to date a very successful MOU, spearheaded by Worcestershire LEP on behalf of the Midlands Engine, promoting both trade and investment opportunities.
Gary Woodman, Chief Executive of Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “Our partnership between Midlands Cyber, which is a network of cyber firms across the Midlands and Maryland intends to shine a light on cyber expertise and to boost trade and investment opportunities. The Midlands is one of the most lucrative and accessible cyber markets in Europe attracting the brightest and best to the region and we are continuing to build our business profile across the world.”