A select group of leading cyber businesses and organisations from the Midlands and Maryland USA met last month (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.”
Midlands Cyber and Worcestershire LEP also welcomed an Irish delegation to their offices at Malvern Hills Science Park on 4 July.
The delegation was part of a high profile ‘Joining the Dots’ report which is focussed on building trade and investment opportunities between South West Ireland and the UK.
The delegation consisted of Irish cyber and tech businesses, members of Cork Chamber of Commerce and the Department for International Trade Dublin. The visit marks the third delegation that Midlands Cyber has hosted this year, following delegations from France and Maryland, US.
The delegation received talks from the Worcestershire LEP, the tech accelerator BetaDen, Worcestershire 5G and international Cyber Security and Defence firm, QinetiQ. The talks provided information on the latest technology being developed and highlighted the opportunities for collaboration and inward investment into the region.
Stuart Emmerson, Director of Investment and Partnerships at Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “We were delighted to attract another high profile Irish delegation to showcase the Malvern Hills Science Park. The expertise and opportunities located within Cyber Valley is unique within the UK, and I’m pleased that we were able to highlight commercial opportunities and networks. Worcestershire is fast acquiring a reputation as the number one place for business set up for those looking to access a lucrative Midlands, UK and European market. ”
Pictured: Irish delegation visit the Worcestershire LEP offices