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The Minister for the Cabinet Office opened the new Titania headquarters and spoke to staff and Malvern Cyber Security Cluster members.
Thank you Ian [Ian Whiting, Titania CEO and Founder]. It’s an honour to be the guest of Titania. I’m also pleased that we’re joined by other members of the Malvern Cyber Security Cluster, including 3DSL, Sutcliffe & Co, DRisQ, Advent IM and Borwell.
When I tell people about this exciting concentration of innovative cyber companies in this corner of Worcestershire, they often look a bit puzzled, as if this part of the country is just about rolling hills and the music of Elgar. But it’s fast becoming Britain’s Cyber Valley.
When I first visited I think there were about 45 firms – now there are nearer 75 across the region. You’re growing all the time, winning new contracts and taking on new staff or moving to larger premises, with Titania a case in point.
So it’s a huge privilege to be asked to open your new offices. I’d like to congratulate Ian, who I know was recently recognised at the 2014 National Computing Security Awards, but also the whole team here. You’ve achieved so much in just a few years and the future for Titania is very bright indeed.
Sometimes when people in Whitehall talk about growth, it can seem like an abstract concept - but it’s real and it’s happening right here, which is why I keep coming back. This is place is a fantastic success story – for Worcester and for Britain – and we need to be shouting about it from the rooftops.
I have 2 main points to make today.
The first is about the opportunity cyber presents for jobs and growth. When we talk about the cyber security we like to make it sound dark and menacing, because we want people and businesses to take notice and protect themselves online. But, as we here know, cyber security shouldn’t be seen as a necessary evil. Malvern has shown very clearly that this is also a growth business in its own right, presenting a massive opportunity.
Cyber security craves technical innovation and entrepreneurial ambition, backed by world-class skills and research – all of which the UK has in spades. We are good at this as a country, you are good at this, and when I visit other countries they know it too.
Cyber Growth Partnership
The UK’s cyber sector already employs some 40,000 people and is worth £6 billion and rising, but I want to see it grow further. That’s why government and business have teamed up to create the Cyber Growth Partnership, which already represents a cross section of the UK cyber-security sector, including SMEs.
Titania is one of the board members and is an active supporter of our efforts to promote UK cyber capability.
Dr Emma Philpott
I’d like to thank and congratulate Dr Emma Philpott, who is with us today on the work she does to bring the various partners together in Malvern. Such is the success of the Malvern Cluster that we want to replicate it across the country.
With the support of funding from the National Cyber Security Programme, Emma is now spreading her magic by helping to bring together clusters in other areas such as Cardiff, Cambridge, Bristol, London, Edinburgh, Southampton and Brighton.
I should also mention a complementary NCSP-funded project called Cyber Connect, run by Andy Williams for techUK.
One of the project’s objectives is to map the UK cyber security sector for the first time, with a particular emphasis on SMEs. This will help enormously when buyers, both domestically and overseas, want to know what the UK has to offer.
The global cyber security market is growing by more than 10% a year and we want Britain to be part of that. I understand that Titania supplies software to customers in over 60 countries, which shows the potential market for UK cyber expertise and products.
That’s why we’ve produced the first ever Cyber Exports Strategy. Exporting £2 billion worth of products and services annually by 2016 is our goal and a sharp increase on the £850 million we sold last year.
Cyber Security Suppliers’ Scheme
One of the ways in which the government is supporting you is through the new Cyber Security Suppliers’ scheme. It enables businesses to demonstrate to potential customers overseas that they are a supplier of cyber products and services to the UK government. We listened to the SME members of the Cyber Growth Partnership who wanted such a scheme. It should be a real advantage in a competitive market, and this has already been taken up by several SMEs in the Malvern cluster including Titania.
Cyber Essentials Scheme
There’s also the Cyber Essentials scheme, which we launched in the summer. The scheme helps businesses protect themselves against the most common cyber threats.
This gives businesses clarity on good basic cyber security practice and will provide protection against the most common threats.
And after going through a certification process, businesses will be able to show they have the right measures in place by displaying the Cyber Essentials badge, which we hope becomes the cyber equivalent of the MOT certificate.
As I said, our international partners are envious of our cyber skills and creativity. In the past year, I’ve discussed cyber security with my counterparts from as far afield as India and Israel, Spain and South Korea and it’s clear that the phrase ‘Made in Britain’ has enormous resonance.
My message to them is simple – UK business is strong, competitive and innovative and is ready to work with you.
My second point is about skills.
If we’re going to enhance the UK’s cyber resilience – and grow our cyber businesses – then we need to ensure we have the right people with the right skills coming into the workforce.
Cyber Security Challenge
Earlier this year, I opened the final of the 2014 Cyber Security Challenge. Funded jointly by government, academia and business, it’s a fantastic way of demonstrating the value of cyber security as a career opportunity to as wide an audience as possible and it has attracted over 2000 new joiners this year alone.
It also enables employers and talented individuals to meet – almost 1 in 3 of those who reach the final stage of the competition go on to find work in cyber security.
We’re also partnering with e-skills UK, training providers and industry to develop new cyber programmes to match private sector needs and increase apprenticeships. We have over 120 cyber apprentices at GCHQ alone.
I know many of the companies here are small – but you can also set a powerful example to young people. There’s an element of glamour and excitement to your work, it’s a success story, and so you can inspire young people by demonstrating the kind of career opportunities that exist in cyber security.
So I’m particularly pleased and grateful that Titania supports cyber apprenticeships and is working in partnership with Worcester University to promote cyber security as a career choice. I’d like to thank Worcester University for all their support.
To conclude, you already know the UK has a fantastic heritage of innovation and expertise in computer science, from Charles Babbage with his 1820s ‘Difference Engine’, through Alan Turing and Bletchley Park right up to modern day internet pioneers.
Read our Buzzfeed: 6 ways Bletchley Park has made the UK a world leader in digital government.
That heritage is alive and kicking here today in Worcester.
The UK is already punching above its weight in cyber space, partly because of the achievements of the businesses here today. And we’re going to continue to do that.
But there is still a huge opportunity out there. Tim Berners-Lee gave the World Wide Web to the world in a way that was open so anyone could use it to expand and grow. This is a strength for Britain – and we’re determined to seize the opportunities that the digital age presents to innovate, create and deliver.