Cyber-security companies and universities from across the Midlands took part in a successful Midlands Engine mission to Maryland, US during October 2016.
The mission, which took place between 18-22 October 2016, was designed to create long-term partnerships and business opportunities with American companies and educational establishments.
Maryland is recognised as a cyber-security leader both nationally and internationally with the world’s largest concentrations of cyber security companies. The headquarters of the US National Security Agency is at Fort Meade and some of the world’s largest IT and cyber-security firms are located in Maryland as well as many of the most successful modern cyber innovation companies, five universities which are designated centres of excellence in cyber education, research by NSA and DHS and several leading hi-tech and cyber-security incubators and accelerators.
The Midlands also has excellent cyber-security companies, including those who are cyber-suppliers to the UK Government. A number of businesses joined the mission to showcase what the region has to offer with regards to cyber security including; borwell Ltd (Malvern), Cyber Owl (Coventry), DeepSecure (Malvern), Eminent Group (Evesham), Ice Blue Marketing (Kidderminster), Innova Engineering (trading as the Packet Company, based in Gloucester), QinetiQ (Malvern) and Titania (Worcester).
The Midlands also provides academic excellence with universities who offer excellent and specialist cyber-security courses which makes the Midlands attractive to other innovative companies and Coventry University and University of Wolverhampton also took part in the mission.
The mission was funded by the Department for International Trade on behalf of the Midlands Engine to help business development opportunities between the UK and US. The Midlands delegates also took part in the prestigious CyberMaryland Conference 2016 which attracted some of the world’s largest IT and cyber-security firms.
Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), the Marches LEP and Hereford Enterprise Zone, in partnership with Department for International Trade and Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce, are now developing a programme over the next three years with a return visit from Maryland to the Midlands being planned for Spring 2017.
Linda Smith, Director of International Trade at Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce, said: “It was great to be a part of such a fantastic business mission that really showcased the Midlands Engine as a fast-growing economic region with an excellent cyber-offering.
“The Midlands boasts a strong number of cyber businesses and Universities that deliver academic excellence and I am confident that the mission, and next year’s return visit, will help to build long-lasting relationships with a range of American cyber-security firms and academic establishments.”
Gary Woodman, Chief Executive of Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “Thank you to all of our American colleagues who made us so welcome and we look forward to the return delegation from the US to the Midlands in 2017.
“A special thank you must go to Andy Williams, the Cyber Envoy to the US for the Department for International Trade’s Defence and Security Organisation. Andy was previously from Worcester-based Titania and ensured that commercial and academic opportunities between the regions were successfully explored.”
“The mission was a huge success which has led to a number of business leads, commercial opportunities and beneficial academic relationships between the UK and US and we now look forward to building on these established relationships.”
Pictured: Steve Borwell-Fox, Managing Director of borwell Ltd, was one of the Worcestershire-based business representatives to participate in the business mission.