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Cyber security academic startup accelerator programme year 5: Phase 1

Overview:

Individuals based in a UK academic institution can apply for a share of up to £800,000 to join the cyber security academic startup accelerator programme (CyberASAP).

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) will work with Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, to invest up to £800,000 in innovation cyber security projects coming from an academic research base.

The aim of this competition is to identify the most promising commercial opportunities. Your proposal must include the area of your research, the problem that you are solving and your proposed solution.

The Cyber Security Academic Startup Accelerator Programme (CyberASAP) is a one-year programme.

This is phase 1 of a two-phase competition.

Phase 1 will last up to four months, split into two stages:

  1. An initial two months for value proposition development activities, followed by a presentation to an independent judging panel who will select teams to go to stage 2.
  2. A further two months for market validation activities.

Phase 1 will determine the value of the idea and, if appropriate, identify the best commercial route to progress. The programme will be supported by industry experts, including some from cyber security.

This competition has two funding strands for entry:

  1. Security of Digital Technologies at the Periphery (SDTaP) – commercialisation
  2. CyberASAP – open

You will be asked to specify which funding strand you are applying for.

Your project’s total eligible costs must be between £5,000 and £32,000.

Open Date:

08/02/2021

Close Date:

03/03/2021

The aim of this competition is to identify the most promising commercial opportunities in academia in respect to cyber security.

‘Cyber security’ is defined to mean protecting any or all the following from unauthorised access, harm or misuse:

  • Information systems (hardware, software and associated infrastructure)
  • Data on such systems
  • Services provided by information systems

This includes harm caused intentionally by the operator of the system, or accidentally, as a result of failing to follow security procedures.

Your project must include:

  • The area of your research
  • The problem you are solving
  • Uour proposed solution
  • Your initial market validation plan

This competition offers two funding strands:

  • Security of Digital Technologies at the Periphery (SDTaP) – commercialisation
  • CyberASAP – open

You will be asked which funding strand you are applying for:

  1. The SDTaP – commercialisation strand, is open to eligible researchers from academic institutions that are active consortium members of the Privacy, Ethics, Trust, Reliability, Acceptability and Security (PETRAS). Eligible researchers are those who have been funded from PETRAS as part of a research project. This strand offers commercialisation support for UKRI-funded project-based research results with promising innovation potential and societal impact. Applicable projects extend across the PETRAS current project portfolio as well as the legacy project portfolio of the PETRAS IoT Research Hub.
  2. The CyberASAP – open strand, is open for eligible individuals from academic institutions that are not eligible for the SDTaP – commercialisation strand.

This is phase 1 of a two-phase competition.

Phase 1 will last up to four months, split into two stages.

Your project must:

  • Have total eligible costs for the two stages between £5,000 and £32,000
  • Have total eligible costs for the first stage up to £16,000
  • Have total eligible costs for the second stage up to £16,000
  • Start on 1 April 2021
  • End on 31 July 2021

Lead applicant

To be eligible for funding you must:

  • Be based in a UK academic institution
  • Have a cyber security idea
  • Be interested in the commercialisation of your idea
  • Have the support of your academic institution’s technology transfer office, or equivalent

Project team

To collaborate with the lead, you must:

  • Be based in a UK academic institution
  • Be interested in the commercialisation of the idea
  • Have the support of your academic institution’s technology transfer office, or equivalent
  • Be invited to take part by the lead applicant

All individuals based in a UK academic institution are eligible, including but not limited to early career researchers and senior academic researchers.

The grant will be paid to the academic institutions after each stage of phase 1. Each academic institution in the consortium will be funded individually, but the total funding for all academic partners must be no more than £32k for each application.

Building value proposition and market validation activities

If Innovate UK award you funding, you must be dedicated to the project for the two-month value proposition building activity from 1 April 2021. If Innovate UK decide you can continue to the market validation activity, you must be dedicated for the additional two months until the end of July 2021.

‘Dedicated to the project’ means you must:

  • Attend five days of online events as part of the initial two-month value proposition activity
  • Be able and be permitted to work on your project for at least two days a week in order to make it a success

The events will be organised by the Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN). You will be contacted by KTN with full details, including confirmed dates.

The planned dates for the value proposition stage are:

  • 1 April 2021: value proposition bootcamp – part 1 (one day)
  • 15 April: value proposition bootcamp – part 2 (one day)
  • 29 and 30 April 2021: value proposition mid-stage review (two-day event)
  • 26 or 27 May 2021: value proposition pitch to selection panel (teams must pitch at a slot on one of these two days)

All events will take place online.

KTN will hold informal weekly one-hour drop-in sessions during phase 1. These are likely to be Friday mornings.

Before the formal start of the programme an informal introduction session is planned for the morning of Tuesday 23 March 2021.

To participate in and complete the additional two months for market validation, applicants recommended by the selection panel must commit to attend five days of online events, and one day attending the Info Security Europe exhibition in London or online.

The planned dates are:

  • 8 June: Info Security Europe exhibition (London or online)
  • 9 and 10 June: market validation bootcamp (two days)
  • 30 June and 1 July: market validation mid-stage review (two-day event)
  • 21 or 22 July: market validation pitch to selection panel (teams must pitch at a slot on one of these two days)

Participants in phase 1 with ideas that demonstrate the most potential for commercialisation will be invited to apply to participate in phase 2, where funding is available to develop a proof of concept for the product or service.

Multiple applications

You can submit more than one application if you have multiple ideas, but Innovate UK will not select more than one for funding.

Previous applications

You can use a previously submitted application to apply for this competition.

Innovate UK will not award you funding if you have:

  • Failed to exploit a previously funded project
  • An overdue independent accountant’s report
  • Failed to comply with grant terms and conditions

No subsidy (and non aid where applicable)

No subsidy

This competition provides funding that is not classed by Innovate UK as a subsidy. You should still seek independent legal advice on what this means for you, before applying.

Further information about the UK Subsidy Control requirements can be found within the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation agreement and the subsequent BEIS guidance.

‘No subsidy’ status is only granted to organisations which declare that they will not use the funding:

  • In any way which gives them selective economic or commercial advantage
  • In any way which would determine the funding as a subsidy as defined by the EU-UK Trade Cooperation Agreement

Non-Aid

If you are applying as a research organisation, defined by the R&D&I framework, and are located in Northern Ireland you commit to ensuring the funding remains non-aid and you adhere to the same eligibility requirements in this competition.

‘Non-aid’ status is only granted to applicants who declare that they will not use the funding:

  • In any way which gives them selective economic or commercial advantage
  • In any other way which would determine the funding as State aid as defined by the European Commission

It is the responsibility of the lead organisation to make sure all collaborators in the project remain compliant with the State aid or subsidy requirements.

It is important to note that it is the activity that an organisation is engaged in as part of the project and not its intentions, that define whether any support provided could be considered a subsidy.

Further guidance

If you are unsure about the regulations and your obligations, please take independent legal advice.

You must make sure at all times that the funding awarded to you is compliant with all current Subsidy Control legislation applicable in the United Kingdom.

This aims to regulate any advantage granted by a public sector body which threatens to or actually distorts competition in the United Kingdom or any other country or countries.

If there are any changes to the above requirements that mean Innovate UK need to change the terms of this competition, they will tell you as soon as possible.

Innovate UK have allocated up to £800,000 to fund cyber security ideas in this competition.

Innovate UK want to fund up to 30 applications.

Applicants can apply for funding for up to 100% of eligible project costs. This can only cover salary, programme related travel within the UK, accommodation if necessary and subsistence.

No more than £16,000 can be allocated to the initial two months of the programme for the stage 1, value proposition building activity.

No more than £16,000 can be allocated to the two-month stage 2 market validation activity.

Innovate UK are not funding projects:

  • That are not related to cyber security
  • From academic institutions outside the UK
  • That have no intention to commercialise
  • That have an academic lead that has already led and completed in a previous CyberASAP project

Cresco Innovation works with companies to develop and implement innovation strategies. We help client companies identify opportunities to develop new products and services, and then create a package of support to ensure that the idea is turned into a commercial reality.

Our services include securing grants (as a team we have raised around £40million over three years), business planning, IP advice, access to finance and funders, project management and IP commercialisation support.

We regularly act as the interface with the funding bodies and help clients ensure that their projects are properly managed to ensure the best outcome for all.

Call to find out more

If you’d like to know more about this competition, please give us a call on 01509 261182 and one of our team will be delighted to help you access this funding opportunity for your business.