A cross border alliance

Scotland Cyber Week has been and gone. Held every February, this year saw over 140 events take place across the country. By any stretch of the imagination this is a successful series of events and the ScotlandIS Cyber team should be congratulated.

But what has this got to do with the work going on in CyberNorth? It is important that the North East looks in different directions as it works to grow the economy. Its position closer to the capital city of Scotland rather than that of England means that it is important to form links to the North as well as the South.

Scotland Cyber Week was a useful vehicle to do just that, forming links to promote the work that the two clusters are doing and developing opportunities for business collaboration across, in business terms, the porous border between the two areas.

ScotlandIS Cyber and CyberNorth have been working together for some time as part of the UK Cybersecurity Clusters work but being coterminous offers additional attractions. The rural parts of Northumberland and the border region of Scotland have more in common with each other than the more urban and post industrial areas of the North East.

We decided that having an event at Scotland Cyber Week would be a good opportunity to demonstrate our willingness to collaborate and promote  further cooperation in future. Initially we felt that two events would be good but in the end postponed the second and went ahead with an event entitled ‘Scottish and North East England Cluster event – Why the focus on cyber clusters?’

It was an enjoyable event. Each of us gave an introduction to our clusters and what we are trying to do. Each was different yet the same in its underlying causes. CyberNorth though felt like the new boy to the party, though in fact most of the others haven’t been around that long, yet two of the speakers had national support while CyNam represents the cluster around the NCSC at GCHQ.

The good news is that I have some great new ideas to think about and hopefully put into action and that is the purpose of events like this. Oh, and we agreed a joint event with SoctlandIS Cyber as part of #CyberFest this year.

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