UK Cyber Cluster Collaboration adds board members to support UK cybersecurity

Linda Smith joins UKC3 as the new chairperson and will help lead initiatives aimed at developing the UK’s cybersecurity sector.

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The UK Cyber Cluster Collaboration (UKC3) has announced its newly elected board, welcoming both new and re-elected members to lead initiatives aimed at developing the cybersecurity sector in the UK.

Joining as new chairperson is business innovation and trade specialist Linda Smith. Smith will be working with Paul Boardman, strategic growth and collaboration lead at the North West Cybersecurity Cluster, and Ben Shorrock, managing director of TechSPARK, who were elected as innovation join-up and ecosystem development leads, respectively. They join John Davies MBE, vice-chair; Melanie Oldham, cybersecurity skills growth lead; and Phil Jackman, treasurer and secretariat—all re-elected.

Promoting cybersecurity collaboration in the UK

Launched in 2021, UKC3 supports cybersecurity clusters to drive growth of the cybersecurity sector within nations and regions, and encourages cohesion across the UK’s cybersecurity ecosystem. Cybersecurity clusters are informal groups of people and organisations who work in, or have an interest in, cybersecurity.

UKC3 promotes collaboration, knowledge exchange and sharing of best practices to develop the cybersecurity ecosystem, seeking opportunities to amplify the impact clusters make locally into something more nationally significant. The organisation  engages with several national bodies in the cybersecurity industry including the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), Cyber Security Council and Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS).

Clusters key to UK’s cybersecurity development

“Clusters play a vital role in supporting growth of the cybersecurity sector and are uniquely positioned with regional focus and presence, actively engaged communities and relationships on the ground,” according to the UKC3 website. “UKC3 works with clusters to support and, where appropriate, fund their work, looking for opportunities to join-up and amplify these activities in order to deliver impact on a national scale.” It has two main funds to support the work of cybersecurity clusters: the Cluster Administration Fund and Project Fund. The Cluster Administration fund is aimed at enabling clusters to bring in dedicated resource to help run and deliver the day-to-day activities of a cybersecurity cluster whilst the Project Fund supports cybersecurity clusters to deliver specific projects or initiatives.

As newly elected chair, Smith said she looks forward to continuing to support the clusters’ initiatives and helping to make the UK the safest place to live and work online. “I’m delighted to become chair of the UKC3 board and to welcome Paul and Ben to the board. Since the launch of UKC3 in 2021, we have worked closely with clusters to build sustainable cyber ecosystems that support innovation, growth and skills,” she added.

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