CyberNorth Business Plan Financial years 2022-2024

Introduction

CyberNorth is the cyber security cluster for North East England. One of Dynamo North East’s clusters, it is recognised by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and the National Cyber Security Centre as representing the region. The cluster is also part of the UK Cyber Cluster Collaboration (UKC3) and Global Epic. The objectives of CyberNorth are aligned with regional and national strategies including:

  • UK Industrial Strategy
  • National Cyber Security Strategy
  • European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) Operational Programme
  • The Northern Powerhouse
  • North East Strategic Economic Plan
  • Tees Valley Strategic Economic Plan
  • North of Tyne Combined Authority Devolution Deal and Economic Vision
  • North of Tyne Inclusive Economy Policy

CyberNorth is established across the region and nationally. It is open to any organisation or individual working in the cyber security sector across the North East of England.

Purpose and objectives

CyberNorth’s purpose is to support the growth and development of the cyber security sector in the North East by being noted as:

  • A region of high cyber security awareness and infrastructural resilience
  • A centre of excellence in the delivery of cyber security related services
  • A centre of excellence in the delivery and development of high quality cyber security students and employees
  • Noted for research and development in cyber security.

CyberNorth’s value proposition is: To  provide a resource that coalesces the North East’s regional cyber security industry, to achieve things collectively that individual companies will struggle to achieve. It is doing this to create: A sense of community; growth in the local market; improved cyber security for all businesses; regional, national and international awareness.

Market sectors

CyberNorth is primarily aiming at:

  • Cyber security businesses and startups
  • Cyber security professionals
  • People with responsibility for technology or data in business and public sector
  • Students, potential future cyber professionals and learning providers in cyber security and related subjects
  • People who can influence growth in the regional cyber security market

Focus

CyberNorth is focussed on the following: 

  • Make a lot of noise to develop the cyber security community, raise local, national and international awareness and build belief. 
    • Events and meetups, including #CyberFest
    • Relevant content
    • Engagement with relevant groups including regional and national government
    • Involvement in UKC3 and Global Epic
  • Develop a mechanism to help existing business to grow in a collaborative yet competitive framework
    • Events and meetups
    • Identify new business and development opportunities
    • Trade missions
    • Information repository/knowledgebase
    • Sharing knowledge
    • Support inward investment
  • Create new businesses by developing a cyber innovation centre (ORCANE)
    • Working with related clusters, such as FinTech to develop opportunity
  • Support young people into careers within the cybersecurity sector
    • Have a separate skills workstream
    • Work with other clusters and national initiatives through UKC3

Cluster Growth

CyberNorth will focus more on networking between North East cyber security companies, developing relationships built on trust, including:

  • An opportunity to network
  • A forum to share what they were working on
  • A forum to promote solutions, hardware, software, connectivity and security
  • Technology updates from hardware, software and connectivity
  • Industry updates
  • Collaboration requests
  • Regional opportunity updates

Actions for 2022/23

CyberNorth will work to deliver the following during the next financial year:

  • Publish the outcome of the UKC3 funded work on the region and business support available
  • Hold at least 3 meetup events throughout the year
  • Have an operational website 
  • Involve more of the industry in the design and delivery of #CyberFest
  • Secure funding for ORCANE
  • Work through the skills action plan and have started to address at least all the local issues
  • Have 6 CyberFirst schools 

Actions for 2023/25

In addition to the 2022/23 actions, CyberNorth is planning the development of a number of additional products, including:

  • The provision of cyber security champions and advocates
  • A mentor and buddying scheme
  • Cyber security training and advice for C-suite
  • Better understanding and promotion of the range of cyber security roles
  • ROI business case toolkit
  • Where-to-start guide.

Timeline

Funding 

CyberNorth has received funding from 

  • Accenture
  • ISN
  • UKC3

The only funding that is guaranteed beyond April 2022 is from ISN The ERDF project runs until June 2023 and needs to be match funded by Dynamo. To ensure CyberNorth’s sustainability, funding is required through a mixture of direct sponsorship, funding opportunities and charges for services. 

Appendices

Governance

CyberNorth comprises primarily one part-time Cluster Lead. If funding is available, this resource is supplemented with additional focussed resources (funded team). The role of the Cluster Lead is to support the objectives of CyberNorth and deliver its outcomes. The Cluster Lead is supported by the Steering Group which comprises 12 people representing industry, public sector, learning sector and consumers of cyber security services. The Steering Group meets monthly to agree on direction, discuss plans and options, receive and provide updates.  The Cluster Lead reports into:

  • The Dynamo board of directors as it provides governance to all its clusters
  • The Innovation Super Network as the project receives some funding from ERDF
  • Accenture as principle partners

In addition there is a:

  • Skills Group comprising around 30 individuals from across the sector working to address cyber security skills and employment issues across the region
  • ORCANE initial consortium group, with representatives from Accenture, Plexal and Newcastle University, to provide direction and support to the development of the cyber security innovation centre
  • North East Cybersecurity Education Group comprising representatives of organisations interested in bringing young people into the sector, focussed in part on the NCSC’s CyberFirst programme.
  • Innovation Delivery Partnership, in conjunction with the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (NELEP) comprising large organisations that are potential consumers of cyber products and services, with the main objective of providing oversight and governance to the ORCANE cyber security innovation centre. 

CyberNorth is also a UK cyber cluster recognised and associated with the UK Cyber Cluster Collaboration (UKC3), an organisation supported by DCMS working to bring all of the cyber clusters across the UK together to learn from each other, share good practice and develop national initiatives. The Cluster Lead is a director of UKC3 with responsibility for the Treasurer & Secretariat.  CyberNorth is also a member of GlobalEPIC (economic development professionals in cyber), which was founded to network and grow international cybersecurity innovation ecosystems and co-create, and adopt, world-changing solutions to high-impact cybersecurity challenges, both current and emergent. CyberNorth works closely with other sector clusters across the region including:

  • FinTech
  • Space
  • HealthTech
  • Advanced Manufacturing
  • Renewables

Marketing

Website

The creation of a meaningful website is essential to the sustainability of CyberNorth. Ideally the site will be the place that:

  1. Cyber security businesses go to find information about opportunities and support, then
  2. Share opportunities to collaborate to grow business, then
  3. (later) consumers of cyber security services go to for advice and guidance, then
  4. Consumers go to look for services providers.

  To achieve the above the following pages are needed:

  1. About the cluster
  2. Businesses (members) in the cluster
  3. Support for businesses
  4. Notifications / warnings / useful information
  5. Events

Social Media

CyberNorth will use the following social media to promote its activities and the North East cyber security sector:

  • Twitter, both CyberNorth and DynamoNorthEast – daily during the working week
  • Linkedin – daily during the working week, at least one article per week
  • FaceBook – weekly
  • Instagram – weekly

Responsibility for each medium will be allocated to one or more individuals in the Steering Group, with other members amplifying the messages through their own social media accounts.  

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