The government’s innovation agency, the Technology Strategy Board (TSB), today launched two new competitions that will allow cybersecurity and digital start-ups to compete for a total of £1.5 million. 

Cybersecurity start-ups in the Severn Valley area, in West England, will be able to compete for £500,000, while digital and creative firms in the Greater Manchester area will be able to compete for £1 million.

The “Launchpad” competitions are designed to help companies grow and expand, through a combination of research and development grant funding and business support.

Both competitions will support 10-12 companies looking to work on projects that cost between £75,000 and £120,000. 

A TSB spokeswoman said: "We will award grants to cover up to 60 percent of eligible costs of a project. We expect projects to use this funding as a basis on which they can attract further investment from the private sector to fund the rest of their eligible costs. "

The digital and creative competition is aiming to find companies that want to work on research projects aiming to develop new digital products, processes or services.

Meanwhile, the cybersecurity competition aims to accelerate growth in innovative UK security firms looking to tap into an industry set to be worth over £3.4 billion by 2017.

The TSB said it is focusing on the Severn Valley and Greater Manchester areas because they are home to a large number of cybersecurity and digital/creative start-ups, with up to 14 percent of the UK’s cybersecurity SMEs are based in the Severn Valley area.