The UK government has announced that it will be partnering with tech startups to develop new technologies aimed at protecting the country from cyber attacks.

According to a statement, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), Wayra UK and GCHQ – the UK’s intelligence and cybersecurity agency – have come together to launch a new cybersecurity accelerator.

The partnership is considered to be the first step in the development of two world-leading innovation centres as part of the Government’s  £1.9bn National Cyber Security Programme.

Successful candidates will gain access to GCHQ’s personnel and tech expertise to allow them to expand capability, improve their ideas and develop innovative products to counteract emerging threats.

Speaking about the announcement, Matt Hancock, Minister of State for Digital and Culture, said:

“We are making progress in our ambitious programme to support innovation in cyber security, grow the UK’s thriving sector and protect Britain from cyber attacks and threats.

“Our two new Cyber Innovation Centres will bring together government, academic and business expertise, and will be invaluable in helping support start-up companies and develop world-class cyber technology,” he concluded.

The accelerator will be based at a new Cheltenham Innovation Centre and is due to open around the turn of the year. A second innovation centre is expected to open in London in 2017.

The news comes after Hancock spoke at a Sharing Economy UK event yesterday, noting his desire to work collaboratively with industry to ensure the UK became the ‘natural home’ for firms operating in the sharing economy sector.

If you’re interested in reading about cybersecurity, take a look at issue 9 of Tech City News popular tech magazine, which focuses on the topic.