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Cyber security academic startup accelerator programme year 4: phase 1

Registration is closed
Funding details
Registration opens
10 Feb 2020, 00:00
Registration closes
04 Mar 2020, 12:00
04 Mar 2020, 12:00
Your project’s total eligible costs must be between £5,000 and £32,000 (max £16,000 per stage). Up to 100% funding is available.
DCMS / Innovate UK

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

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

You must be based in a UK academic institution, have a cyber security idea and be interested in commercialising it.

CyberASAP is a 1-year programme. Phase 1 will last up to 4 months, split into 2 stages: an initial 2 months for value proposition development activities, followed by a presentation to an independent judging panel who will select teams to go to stage 2, and a further 2 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.

Your total eligible costs for the value proposition stage of your project must be no more than £16,000. Your total eligible costs for the market validation stage must be no more than £16,000.

Your project must start on 1 April 2020 and end by 31 July 2020.

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

All individuals based in a UK academic institutions 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.

Building value proposition and market validation activities

If we award you funding you must be dedicated to the project for the 2-month value proposition building activity from 1 April 2020. If we decide you can continue to the market validation activity you must be dedicated for the additional 2 months until the end of July 2020.

‘Dedicated to the project’ means you must:

  • attend 3 events in London as part of the initial 2-month value proposition activity
  • be able and be permitted to work on your project for at least 2 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 are:

  • 1 and 2 April 2020: 2 day boot camp
  • 28 and 29 April 2020: 2 day mid-programme review
  • 21 or 22 May 2020: one day pitch to selection panel

To participate in and complete the additional 2 months for market validation, applicants recommended by the selection panel must attend 4 events in London.

The planned dates are:

  • 2 to 4 June: Infosecurity Europe exhibition, where you must attend a minimum of one day
  • 8 and 9 June: 2 day boot camp
  • 30 June and 1 July: 2 day mid-programme review
  • 23 or 24 July: one day pitch to selection panel

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.


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

We define ‘cyber security’ to mean protecting information systems (hardware, software and associated infrastructure), the data on them and the services they provide from unauthorised access, harm or misuse. This includes harm caused intentionally by the operator of the system, or accidentally, as a result of failing to follow security procedures.

Your proposal must include:

  • the area of your research
  • the problem you are solving
  • your proposed solution
  • your initial market validation plan

We are not funding projects that:

  • are not related to cyber security
  • from academic institutions outside the UK
  • have no intention to commercialise
  • have an academic lead that has already participated in the previous CyberASAP programme