National Cyber Security Show: Innovation through collaboration 

Individually, we’re strong but together we’re stronger. While a startup has exciting new ideas, government and industry possess insights and resources.

So, what happens when you throw them together and blend up their respective expertise?

You get innovation through collaboration.

This was the key topic delivered at the National Cyber Security Show (NCSS) on Thursday 27th April 2023 by Dave Rowley, Director of Growth at Plexal. He was invited to speak at the National Cyber Security Show thanks to our role in building the UK’s most connected cyber ecosystem.

Dave welcomed the startup voice to the stage in the form of Marc Barry, co-founder and Chief Product Officer at Enclave Networks, whose mission is ‘to make network infrastructure management more simple, agile and secure using patented Zero Trust technology.’ 

Dan Patefield, Head of Programme, Cyber and National Security at techUK, the trade association which brings together people, companies and organisations to realise the positive outcomes of what digital technology can achieve, completed the trio on stage.

Dave talked the National Cyber Security Show audience at the NEC in Birmingham through the importance of ‘Purpose, Place and Programme’ to drive effective, collaborative, innovation. For the benefit of those who couldn’t make it, here are some examples of those three Ps in practice through Plexal’s own work.


Our vision is to make technology work better for society, inheriting the mission of the UK Government and solving innovation challenges through collaboration. And our journey from 2017 has seen us go from establishing the London Office for Rapid Cyber Security Advancement (LORCA) having been appointed by then DCMS (now Department for Science, Innovation and Technology – DSIT), through to delivering the UK’s largest and most inclusive cyber accelerator programme Cyber Runway.


Building places for innovation is at the heart of our offering: creating coworking spaces in Stratford and Shoreditch. Through these, we’re able to connect private sector budding entrepreneurs, startups, scaleups and industry, with public sector government departments and academia, as well as inviting the key piece of the puzzle, investors, to meet, network and share ideas about how to solve some of society’s biggest challenges.  

Beyond our footprint in East London, we’ve expanded on this with a presence in Cheltenham, the UK’s cyber capital, where we acquired a majority shareholding in Hub8 – the growing network of co-working spaces for cyber-tech, digital and creative startups and SMEs in and around Cheltenham. And we also have a base in Manchester where we support the North West ecosystem through programmes such as the Digital Security Hub (DiSH), which has just welcomed its second cohort. 


Facilitating these connections and ensuring there is a measurable impact is key – so how do we manage it? By collaborating with the likes of the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) and DSIT to deliver accelerator programmes for startups across the UK. 

We work with global tech companies like Amazon Web Services who are looking for SMEs with specific solutions in areas such as healthcare and defence, with the AWS European Defence Accelerator open for applications now, alongside other Plexal innovation programmes here

All of these three Ps tie into our mission, which is to close the gap between private and public organisations for collaborative innovation that can improve national security and deliver economic impact for society. 

Stay tuned to our social channels @PlexalCyber on Twitter, Plexal Cyber on LinkedIn and sign up to our Cyber Community newsletter for more updates on our cyber security programmes.