Pic copyright Phil Tragen 2019

In partnership with GCHQ, The Landing and global tech accelerator UP Ventures has been selected to deliver a ground-breaking accelerator – the Safe Citizen Digital Innovation Lab. 

Applications to join the GCHQ Accelerator, which will start in early 2020, are being sought from companies who have customer-facing technology solutions aimed at improving citizen digital safety across the North West

This follows on from the GM Future of Health Challenge accelerator which received unprecedented application numbers and is now underway with a cohort of 15 companies, led by UP Ventures at The Landing, in the heart of Salford’s MediaCityUK.

GCHQ is a world-leading intelligence, cyber and security agency with a mission to keep the UK safe.  In parallel to celebrating their centenary year, GCHQ is opening a new strategic hub in the heart of Manchester.

GCHQ is excited to engage with the thriving tech ecosystem in Greater Manchester and the North West and will be imparting exclusive tailored technical expertise into the programme.

The GCHQ Accelerator seeks start-ups that have harnessed cutting-edge technology in a creative way, to make a difference to day-to-day life.  This could be anything from informing and, in turn, empowering citizens by providing new insights from connected devices and services, to the creative use of data to deliver social impact in the region.

GCHQ’s Deputy Director for Manchester says, “The Greater Manchester community has been fantastically welcoming to GCHQ, and we are just as pleased to be here. This Accelerator programme is an early chance for us to get working with the buzzing tech community in the North West. The ‘Safe Citizens’ theme for the Accelerator combines our passion for exploring innovative cutting-edge technology, and our desire to make a real contribution to the region. We look forward to building relationships with a diverse range of technologists, creatives and entrepreneurs.”

In order to pioneer a new kind of security as it expands into Greater Manchester, GCHQ is seeking to engage with external partners in the region; sharing unique technical expertise, and collaborating with a diverse range of entrepreneurs, industry and academia to make a difference in the community.

Danny Meaney, CEO of UP Ventures, comments, “This is a fantastic opportunity for emerging tech businesses to gain unique access to GCHQ’s world-class engineering and technology teams, as well as leading digital thinkers and our strong investor network.  We’re excited to help bring another initiative to the market that has the potential to make a meaningful impact on people’s lives through applied technology here in Greater Manchester and the North West. We’re also pleased to build on our long-standing and successful partnership with The Landing.”

The 16-week accelerator programme will leverage unique technical infrastructure and facilities, including the Vodafone 5G Innovation Lab, which provides real-world urban environments for demonstration of products and services of MediaCityUK. GCHQ is keen to contribute to the fabric of Greater Manchester, therefore the programme welcomes submissions that provide “life impact” solutions for vulnerable groups across the region, empowering and connecting citizens through ingenious use of technology.

Dan Sodergren, Head of Business Services at The Landing, says, “Thanks to our unparalleled facilities and a commitment to innovation from all partners, this is a significant opportunity for companies to explore how a ‘Smart City’ can work for its customers. Using technology for good is something we are incredibly passionate about and we are excited to receive applications from those who can really make a positive difference to all of our lives in the 21stcentury.”

To apply to the Safe Citizen Innovation Lab 1 click here.

Deadline for entries is 08/11, successful applicants will be announced by 13/12and the programme begins on the 13/01/2020.


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