Data security and strong ethics: Matt Hancock set out his vision for how Britain can remain a world-leader in AI at Plexal’s LORCA launch

Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Matt Hancock used the launch of LORCA, the cybersecurity centre being delivered here at Plexal, to stress the significance of data security and having a strong ethical framework if the UK is to harness technology to “tackle the long-term issues that are shaping our world”.

As Hancock pointed out in his keynote, the stakes could hardly be higher: “I profoundly believe that cutting-edge technology, coupled with creative and artistic genius, is the fulcrum on which our country will be built,” he said, before elaborating on the massive opportunity AI has to transform healthcare:

“As AI and data becomes more sophisticated and more accurate, there are huge opportunities to make the impossible possible and save lives.”

However, keeping our collective information secure must underpin this innovation:

“We are known across the world as a place where AI can thrive because we are a nation with firm ethical principles, a mature regime for data protection and privacy, and the confidence offered by strong cyber security and partnership between government, businesses and academia.”

And, according to Hancock, LORCA will play a pivotal role – along with the Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation and the National Cyber Security Centre – in creating the right conditions for AI to be harnessed ethically and securely:

“We need the best possible AI leadership, working together, to steer a course through technologies that, by their very nature, are complex and changing every single day. Your work here at the Cyber Innovation Centre will be vital.”

All about LORCA

Funded by the Department for Digital, Culture Media & Sport and delivered by Plexal along with our partners Deloitte and CSIT, LORCA is a three-year, £13.5m programme that aims to help cybersecurity innovators scale and meet the needs of industry. The goal is to create up to 2,000 jobs, enable deep collaboration between businesses and academia and, ultimately, harness the power of data and the internet while staying safe.

Our first cohort of members features cyber companies drawing on everything from AI to behavioural science – and they’ll be joining us at Plexal for the next six months, starting from 26 June 2018. You can learn more about the centre’s mission and meet all 10 founding members at