Media City



GCHQ today (24 June) launched a support programme for UK companies using data to keep people safe, including protecting children online and countering fraud.

The mentorship scheme – called the GCHQ Innovation Co-Lab – is being run from the intelligence agency’s new Manchester offices, and will see a particular drive to find innovative start-ups and small to medium sized businesses based in the North West. 

Companies taking part in the 12-week programme will work with technologists from the intelligence, cyber and security agency and industry experts to improve their products using data science, artificial Intelligence and machine learning. 

The aim is to support the development of innovative products in health, education and other sectors, including those that tackle the long-term effects of organised crime. 

Gav Smith, GCHQ’s Director General for Technology, said:

“With GCHQ’s mentorship and support these businesses will have the potential to use the latest technology to improve people’s safety online.”

GCHQ helps keep the UK safe, using cutting-edge technology, technical ingenuity and world leading partnerships to identify, analyse and disrupt threats in an increasingly complex world. 

Last year GCHQ, which has sites across the country, announced it was opening a new Manchester city centre hub in Albert Square. The hi-tech premises is now at the heart of the nation’s security. 

Mr Smith added:

“The GCHQ Innovation Co-Lab will focus on enabling cutting-edge technologies based around data science, artificial intelligence and machine learning. 

“Our goal is to help emerging businesses make technical and commercial breakthroughs with their ingenious products and services by giving them access to world-class GCHQ technologists as well as industry experts and dedicated coaches.”

Jon Corner, Chief Digital Officer at City of Salford said:

“I’m delighted that The Landing MediaCityUK is a key part of an evolving and growing partnership with GCHQ, which itself is contributing to the strength of the Greater Manchester digital eco-system.”

Start-up’s interested in joining the mission can apply now at: