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Government recruits young hackers for cyber security hackathon

The government has launched a programme that will bring together 50 of the UK’s brightest young cyber security minds to tackle critical issues in the area.

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS (opens in new tab)) is working together with The Accelerator Network (opens in new tab), an organisation that offers business support services for high-growth tech companies.

The two organisations are hosting a three-day ‘hackathon’ that will pool collective talent drawn from the UK’s thirteen universities that have been identified as Academic Centres of Excellence in cyber security research.

The June 2015 event will see the participants working together on ideas designed to tackle the cyber security issues facing businesses and critical infrastructure providers.

Mentoring, tutorials and expert advice will be available for the duration of the event, encouraging contributors to develop commercial applications to real-life security problems.

The hackathon will end with a pitch event where teams will present their developments to an audience of partners, industry leaders and investors.

“Cyber security is the number one threat facing UK businesses and critical infrastructure providers,” claimed chair of The Accelerator Network Ian Merricks.

“The real issue is that countermeasures are often developed by large teams bound by outdated organisation structures, whereas attackers work together in disparate more flexible collectives.

“We hope this event will help create a more informal ideas-driven approach to problem solving. The Accelerator Network is delighted to be working with BIS to deliver such an event,” Merricks added.

Digital Minister Support

Minister for the Digital Economy Ed Vaizey (opens in new tab) has welcomed the partnership between BIS and The Accelerator Network.

“Protecting and promoting the UK’s digital economy is a key part of the government’s long-term economic plan, so it’s crucial we have the skills to do this now and in the future,” Vaizey claimed.

“I’m pleased that BIS is supporting the Agile Innovation hackathon, which will be a fantastic way of developing new talent and ensuring government and industry can tackle the cyber security challenges of the future,” he added.

Image Credit: Charis Tsevis