Major cyber security conference coming to the West Midlands
Published: Tuesday 24 Oct 2023
The West Midlands has been chosen to host the UK’s flagship cyber conference for the first time next year, bringing thousands of the world’s leaders in global cyber security to the region.
CYBERUK 2024 is hosted on behalf of UK Government by the National Cyber Security Centre - which is a part of GCHQ.
The three-day conference will take place at the International Convention Centre (ICC) next May - with UK and international cyber security experts from industry, academia, and government coming together to showcase new and emerging technology and discuss issues affecting the sector.
It comes as the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) continues to invest in cyber skills training for local people, with 600 free places on dedicated courses as part of a multi-million-pound plans to help meet the skills need generated by the region’s booming wider tech sector.
This year’s conference in Belfast gave a £2.6 million boost to the economy of the host city as more than 2,300 delegates from 38 countries attended alongside high-profile speakers including Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden, and National Cyber Director to the White House, Kemba Walden.
Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands and WMCA Chair, said: “It's a tremendous vote of confidence in our region that we’re set to host to a conference of this size and significance. It provides a fantastic opportunity for local people already employed in cyber security here to be part of important conversations with world leaders in this field.
“The West Midlands tech sector continues to go from strength to strength. Our Plan for Growth has tech as a key pillar and that’s why we’ve recently revealed we’re investing another £15 million in bespoke training courses to create even more jobs for local people with cyber security playing a big part in that.
“More and more organisers of major events are looking to our region and these are opportunities that we must capitalise on as we continue to build on our reputation as an attractive place to do business with a stellar talent pool to draw on.”
Lindy Cameron, CEO at the National Cyber Security Centre, said: “I look forward to welcoming cyber security experts from the West Midlands and around the world to CYBERUK in Birmingham next May.
“Birmingham is a city renowned for its rich industrial heritage and vibrant cultural scene, and it provides a fitting backdrop for the cyber security world to discuss how we improve our collective resilience to shared threats.
“I encourage the local cyber security community to visit the CYBERUK website when registration opens in November, so we can come together in person to ensure the UK is fit for the cyber challenges of the future.”
Martin Ward, the West Midlands Tech Commissioner, said: “The cyber security sector is fast moving. CYBERUK will be a not-to-be-missed opportunity for those already working in this sector to test their knowledge and expertise among the world's brightest minds tackling this critical issue and champion what local businesses are already doing to help develop solutions.
“It will also allow us to showcase how we're addressing the skills shortage that is holding back growth regionally and nationally - thanks to significant investment by the WMCA in bespoke cyber skills courses and the announcement just last week by TechWM of a £1 million support programme for the wider tech sector."
Cllr Patrick Harley, WMCA portfolio lead for culture and digital, and leader of Dudley Council, said: “Our digital road map has set an ambitious direction of travel for the West Midlands to become a forward looking and inclusive digital economy, where data is used to improve our public services and the latest technology used to reduce our carbon footprint.
"As we continue that journey, it is essential that we do all we can to protect local people, businesses and other organisations from potential cyber threats, and I look forward to seeing a strong regional representation at this global forum."
Register to attend CYBERUK 24 at www.cyberuk.uk.
Find out about cyber security bootcamps funded by the WMCA at www.wmca.org.uk/what-we-do/productivity-and-skills/digital/.
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