BT sets UK data challenge with €34,000 prize pot

9 Feb 201735 Shares

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BT’s Securing the Nation will give SMEs the chance to showcase their new technology and product ideas. Image: Timothy Passmore/Shutterstock

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BT has kicked off a global data security challenge with a total prize pot of €34,000 for technologies that could potentially protect UK infrastructure.

The Securing the Nation BT SME Award 2017 will give start-ups and SMEs from all over the world the chance to showcase their technology and product ideas in three categories: cybersecurity; data collection, mining and analytics; and digital innovation.

There is a total prize pot of £30,000 (€34,000) across all three categories.

‘This initiative aims to provide a platform for these ideas, and an opportunity for SMEs to develop them into solutions that will tackle real-world challenges, including the issue of modern slavery’
– SHAY WALSH

The judges will award each category winner a cash prize of £10,000 (€11,600) and six months’ flex membership at TechHub’s London start-up space, which includes access to all global TechHub spaces, as well as the opportunity to network with the community of members working on tech products.

Winners will also be able to work with BT to explore technical and commercial partnerships.

Finalists will be invited to pitch before a Dragon’s Den-style panel featuring: the CEO of BT Security, Mark Hughes; BT’s MD of research and innovation, Tim Whitley; Metropolitan Police Detective Superintendent, Caroline Barker; and technical director of the National Cyber Security Centre, Ian Levy.

The rising challenges facing infosec

The issue of cybersecurity is increasingly forming part of board-level discussions at large companies due to the rapidly escalating and evolving nature of the threat.

Recent research from BT and KPMG has revealed that 97pc of IT decision-makers in large multinational corporations have experienced a cyberattack, with half of them reporting an increase in the last two years.

However, only a fifth of respondents are confident that their organisation is fully prepared against the threat of cyberattacks.

The latest BT Infinity Lab competition is aimed at developing new innovative ways of helping organisations of all sizes to address the threat.

“Cybersecurity is a really important issue for public sector and businesses of all sizes. BT has developed world-class capability through protecting its own and its customers’ networks, and we recognise that some of the most innovative ideas often come from our diverse SME community,” explained Shay Walsh, managing director of BT Ireland.

“This initiative aims to provide a platform for these ideas, and an opportunity for SMEs to develop them into solutions that will tackle real-world challenges, including the issue of modern slavery.”

Applications for the competition close on Friday 3 March and interested companies can enter here.

Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com