Lockheed Martin UK is launching this new initiative to accelerate innovation, boost growth and allow innovative solutions created by the UK’s cyber-security technology developers to grow and mature in order to counter the increasing threat of cyber-attacks globally.
Working in partnership with technology merchant bank Restoration Partners, Lockheed Martin has created a Virtual Technology Cluster (VTC) that brings together industry, academia and the investment community.
Welcoming the news, British Prime Minister David Cameron said: “This government is committed to ensuring the UK continues to be a leader in the multi-billion dollar cyber-security industry but the private sector also has an important role to play in supporting UK cyber innovation. This partnership between Lockheed Martin and the Restoration Partners will offer cyber entrepreneurs an incredible opportunity to engage with investors, academics and those already established in the industry.”
Building on its own investment of more than £40 million in cyber facilities at Farnborough, Hampshire, which includes a £30 million innovation laboratory available for use by small and medium-sized British companies, Lockheed Martin has invested a further £250,000 to engage the cyber supply chain and take its VTC concept from a pilot program to launch.
Lockheed Martin’s VTC will provide small, specialist businesses with access to a ready-made ecosystem of capital, professional services and suppliers relevant to their field. Through a multi-tiered arrangement, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) will have the ability to trade with larger companies and benefit from growth support as well as shared intelligence, experience and ideas.
“We recognize challenges faced by SMEs when turning their innovations into products, and taking those products to market. We also know how crucial these niche businesses are to the supply chain of companies like Lockheed Martin as well as to the security of the UK,” said Stephen Ball, Chief Executive for Lockheed Martin UK.
“Our VTC is a new way of working with suppliers to develop a comprehensive network that will stimulate growth in this crucially important technology sector.”
The VTC completed a successful pilot program late 2014. Today’s launch provides 2,500 of the UK’s most talented technology innovators an opportunity to participate. This year, in the VTC’s first phase of operation, SMEs will be provided with opportunities to become involved in five cyber-security contracts, which could support a further 250 jobs in the UK.
Lockheed Martin’s VTC is an extension of the company’s UK Growth and Research Initiative, a multi-million pound investment in cutting-edge university research and economic development, which currently involves 25 separate projects nationally.
The initiative involves UK universities in research projects, including quantum technologies, graphene and nanotechnology, designed to propel world-leading research from the laboratory into the global market.