The Accelerator Network, which brings together business support services for tech companies, is working with the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) to bring together 50 of the UK’s brightest young cyber security minds to tackle critical cyber security issues.

The three-day hackathon will pool collective talent drawn from the UK’s 13 universities which have been identified as Academic Centres of Excellence in cyber security research. The event will take place in June 2015 and will see participants working together on ideas designed to tackle the cyber security issues facing businesses and critical infrastructure providers.

Ed Vaizey MP
Ed Vaizey, minister for the digital economy, said that cyber security skills were crucial to protect the government's digital economy plans. Image credit: Flickr/DCMS

Mentoring, tutorials and expert advice will be on hand for the duration, encouraging contributors to develop commercial applications to real-life security problems. The hackathon will culminate in a pitch event, for which teams will present their developments to an audience of partners, industry leaders and investors.

Ian Merricks, chair of the Accelerator Network, said: “Cyber security is the number one threat facing UK businesses and critical infrastructure providers. The real issue is that counter measures are often developed by large teams bound by out-dated organisational structures, whereas attackers work together in disparate more flexible collectives.

“We hope this event will help create a more informal ideas-driven approach to problem solving. The Accelerator Network is delighted to be working with BIS to deliver such an event.”

Ed Vaizey, minister for the digital economy, said: "Protecting and promoting the UK's digital economy is a key part of the government's long-term economic plan, so it's crucial we have the skills to do this now and in the future.

“The Department for Business is supporting this agile innovation hackathon, which will be a fantastic way of developing new talent and ensuring government and industry can tackle the cyber security challenges of the future."

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