OK, technically the UK Cyber Cluster Collaboration or UKC3 as it is known, is not really one year old, it was incorporated on 21 April last year, yet it has just finished its first year. What a year it has been and what better way to celebrate with a coming together of all the cyber security cluster leads from across the UK.
With the support of DCMS, in central government we really feel like we’ve moved mountains in helping to become the voice of cyber security clusters, some existing, some new and some just a twinkle in their founder’s eye. It wasn’t until June that we took off, recognising an initial six clusters, which has now increased to twelve. There are still a few areas across the country to cover and we are working on those too.
We’ve distributed funding to support the development of the clusters as well as some regional and national projects which are making a significant difference to the understanding of the market, the level of innovation and starting to address some of the skills shortage issues. We’ve also attended a fiar few trade shows, getting out name out there and have been working with other cyber security bodies to develop a cyber security alliance.
As part of its development, we were determined, post COVID, to try and get as many people together to share stories, explain what we are doing and generally get to know people better, many of whom we had only ever seen on screen. That’s how we came to meet up at Cheltenham last week, deep in the heart of Cynam’s territory.
It was a great event, with some presentations, some breakout sessions and plenty of opportunity to mix. There was such a buzz around the room and everyone is looking forward to gettin together again, probably at the end of the summer. We’ve committed to meeting twice next year.
Building a regional cluster is hard enough, yet building a cluster of clusters is another challenge. Meeting people in person makes such a difference and I am delighted to have been involved.