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Stellar signings at IN4.0 with The Landing will drive region’s cyber security and immersive technology capabilities

IN4.0 with The Landing has boosted its executive team with the appointment of two industry leaders further enhancing its capabilities in the immersive tech and cyber arena.

Bev McGowan, an industry leader in data and information security, joins the MediaCityUK-based digital and innovation hub as director of cyber security while Simon Benson, a global leader in XR user experience and award-winning Sony PlayStation pioneer, joins as director of immersive technology.

The double appointment comes as The Landing enters an exciting new phase of growth after its management was recently handed to fast growing tech firm, IN4.0 Group, to drive a new era of innovation excellence.

Bev has more than two decades of experience in cyber security working in financial services, banking and the insurance sector where she held a number of leadership roles in governance, risk, compliance, data governance, security and privacy.

She is also CEO and founder of The Specialists Hub and CyberPRO Security Services and Training and is chair of the Cyber Expert Group for the Cyber Resilience Centre for Greater Manchester.

As director of cyber security, Bev will spearhead The Landing’s critical cyber security assets including the launch of a Security Operations Centre to support Greater Manchester’s SMEs to reduce their risk of cyber-attacks.

Bev’s role will also be instrumental in developing a strong diverse digital talent pipeline within the cyber space.

Simon is the co-founder of Realised Realities – a specialist virtual reality and immersive technology consultancy. Previously, he was the director of Sony’s Immersive Technology Group where he was instrumental in the creation and roll-out of stereoscopic 3D gaming and was a founder member of the PlayStation VR project.

In his new role, Simon will create a centre of excellence for immersive technology and will accelerate the use of VR and XR to businesses across the region. He will also lead the recruitment and growth of The Landing’s Immersive Technology start-up and scale-up community.

Simon said: “Immersive and interactive media is fast becoming an influential media element in our world and for the younger generation it’s their primary form of entertainment and media.

“Knowing that we’re bringing all that together at this location and putting that quality stamp on it and maximising its opportunity to make this a centre of excellence is exciting.

“This is an opportunity to bring my world class expertise to the heart of MediaCityUK and to enable businesses that are stepping into immersive technology to take those first steps with confidence.” 

Bev said: “I’m excited about what we are building at The Landing and what we are doing aligns with my experience, vision and values.

“With the acceleration of digital transformation, we need to make sure we have the best security and privacy assets to mitigate any risk of cyber-attacks to the region’s SMEs and act as an enabler for innovation.

“It’s also important for us to provide people with opportunities and make sure digital training is accessible to all. We’ve already seen a massive increase in the uptake of cyber apprenticeships in the SME market so there’s a big demand for training in this sector.”

Mo Isap, CEO of IN4.0 Group, said of the appointments: “I am delighted to welcome both Bev and Simon to the team. Together they bring a wealth of experience in cyber security and immersive technology and understand the critical role this plays in the SME community.

“Their pedigree and leadership will enable us to develop a world class incubation for start-ups and scale-ups to accelerate faster and stronger at The Landing than anywhere else.

“Equally, we want to make sure people across the GM region have fair access to digital skills and training.”