Greater Manchester at International Cyber Expo

By Ben Ward, MIDAS, October 2022

MIDAS, Manchester’s award-winning inward investment promotion agency, attended the International Cyber Expo (external website) as a member of Greater Manchester Cyber Advisory Group, working together to promote the city region’s fast growing cyber ecosystem.

Manchester skyline

The Cyber Advisory Group is a meeting ground for those with a stake in the growth and development of the local cyber industry. MIDAS as a member, communicate the current cyber landscape and the future vision of the cluster to clients that are seeking new place-based growth opportunities, or present prospects that existing investors may be unaware of to expand their footprint in the region.

As a top city in tech, our cyber journey is our next big growth story as it continues to attract attention following the expansion of GCHQ – the UK’s government security agency and through the growth of companies such as Avecto, NCC Group, Hedgehog and Secarma, that are helping us to tell this tale.

Location based promotion is an art of balancing facts to make informed decisions and sharing an experience - the intangible parts that make a city what it is. I spent two days at the International Cyber Expo alongside fellow Cyber Advisory Group members from Greater Manchester Combined Authority, Lancaster University, Manchester Digital Security Hub (DiSH) (external website) and SPRITE+. The story from my colleagues was that there is an honest, joined up and ready-made support network, built to ensure Greater Manchester’s cyber ecosystem has the support from all sectors to ensure the success is continued.

I was inspired to hear from conversations with delegates passing our stand, that it was refreshing to hear a city region be open about the immediate and future challenges faced. The different macro socio-economic factors that are shared globally against the growing demand for digital and cyber skills. This is the honest part. No business was scaled without having an honest conversation and The Cyber Advisory Group is a welcome hub to have that conversation and action change, with the support of Local Government, Industry and the Education sector.

It must be working, Greater Manchester has attracted established cyber divisions of global defence companies such as Raytheon, BAE Systems AI and Northrop Grumman; consulting firms including KPMG and software providers such as Sophos, Darktrace and Coalfire. Many are active members of the Cyber Advisory Group.

The Expo was also a way for an Australian delegation, that MIDAS hosted in Manchester on the following day after the event (Thursday 29th September), to engage with the Cyber Advisory Group. Austrade, in partnership with TechSpark, brought a program of 12 fast growing cyber companies looking at internationalisation to the Expo. MIDAS delivered a program with Barclay’s Eagle Labs, Plexal and HOST to understand support available to SMEs once here, to mitigate as much risk in that growth phase as possible.

We can’t wait to see what happens next and events like these are an exciting way to debate, inform and network. We’re looking forward to the next one!

For more information on how your business can support their growth plans to the UK and Manchester please get in touch via MIDAS website (external website).

Contact MIDAS Business Development Manager for Creative Digital and Technology Ben Ward at ben.ward@midas.org.uk

The Greater Manchester Cyber Security Advisory Group (external website) reflects the cyber security capabilities of Greater Manchester and drives forward inclusive economic growth for the city-region and the North. The group will provide strategic oversight and a force for inclusive economic growth, taking an ecosystem approach to building that capability and economic resilience.

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