UK Government Bounce Back Loans Launch

The new loans aimed at smaller businesses launched today with a much quicker turnaround reported than for the larger Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan.
The bounce-back loans have a much simpler application process and are for businesses that have been negatively affected by Coronavirus.
Loans are available for between £2k and £50k up to a maximum 25% to turnover, there is no interest in the first year and no repayments also in the first year.

NCSC Virtual Cyber School Launched – Open Now until 31st August

Young people are encouraged to join online classes to develop problem-solving and cyber skills
Published 1 May 2020
From: Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, National Crime Agency, National Cyber Security Centre, and Matt Warman MP

Teens can learn how to crack codes, fix security flaws and dissect criminals’ digital trails
Comes as National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) launches CyberFirst summer courses online

Thousands of young people are being offered the chance to join a virtual cyber security school as part of plans to make sure the country develops the next generation of professional cyber defenders.

At a time when schools remain closed to most children, the online initiative aims to inspire future talent to work in the cyber security sector and give students a variety of extracurricular activities to do from the safety of their homes.

Teens can learn how to crack codes, fix security flaws and dissect criminals’ digital trails while progressing through the game as a cyber agent. This will help them develop important skills needed for future jobs, particularly in cyber security.

The school provides free weekly webinars run by industry experts teaching fundamental security disciplines such as digital forensics, cryptography and operating systems.

Digital Infrastructure Minister Matt Warman said:
This new initiative will give teenagers something fun and educational to do from home and provide them with a glimpse into the life of a cyber security professional.
We have a world-leading cyber sector which plays a crucial role protecting the country and our digital economy, so it is absolutely vital we continue to inspire the next generation of tech talent to help maintain the UK’s strong position.
The move comes as the government announces a number of other online training courses to give UK school pupils the opportunity to learn and develop cyber security skills, this includes the launch of the National Cyber Security Centre’s (NCSC) hugely popular CyberFirst summer courses. The courses are moving online this year to help more than a thousand 14 to 17-year-olds develop important cyber skills from home during the coronavirus pandemic.

NCSC Chief Executive Officer Ciaran Martin said:
Technology is helping us all cope with the coronavirus crisis and is playing an essential role in keeping our businesses moving and our society connected.
It has never been more important for our young people to keep engaged and learn how to protect our digital world – and I’m delighted to see our instructor led CyberFirst summer courses made available online.
Enrolled students will learn how to code and carry out cybersecurity operations in an instructor-led virtual classroom to help guide the students through the programme and build a sense of camaraderie within each cohort.
The National Crime Agency and Cyber Security Challenge UK will also this week announce teenagers can access their online cyber skills platform CyberLand for free during the coming months. In the game designed to teach teenagers the fundamentals of cyber security, players protect the virtual city ‘CyberLand’ from cyber attacks while learning key skills.

Deputy Director at the NCA’s National Cyber Crime Unit Jim Stokley said:
Many young people have a keen interest in technology and have developed impressive cyber skills.
The virtual cyber school and CyberFirst programmes are great initiatives which will support this next generation of cyber defenders in realising their potential.
We’ve also partnered with Cyber Security Challenge UK to offer free access to their online platform Cyberland where young people will find games that encourage them to improve cyber skills safely and legally.

Computer science teacher & EdTech evangelist Mark Martin said:
This is a great initiative to encourage young people to consider future careers in cyber security and see that they can have a tech job keeping people safe online.
The virtual cyber school will help students learn valuable skills needed to work in the industry in a fun and entertaining way. I encourage teachers to share these programmes with their students as a productive activity to do in their spare time from home.

Cyber Discovery provider SANS Chief Technology Officer James Lyne said:
Cyber security is a fascinating field packed with opportunities for innovation and to make the online world more secure. It spans every part of society and has a huge role in our future security and technology prospects as a nation.
This is your chance to learn how to ‘forensicate’ like a digital Sherlock Holmes, close down vulnerabilities before the hackers find them, and break codes.
Teachers, parents, students – get online and take advantage of this wonderful opportunity amidst the unique and challenging situation our country faces right now.

CyberFirst provider QA Chairman Sir Charlie Mayfield said:
These initiatives from NCSC and DCMS are set to deliver a great summer of learning for young people across the UK. There is a shortage of digital skills in the UK and the CyberFirst programmes tackle this issue head on – and have the added benefit of keeping young minds active at this difficult time.
The road to the UK’s economic recovery from this pandemic will be built on the skills we learn at this time. That’s why it was critical that initiatives like CyberFirst were pivoted to virtual delivery, so they could go ahead as planned. We are proud to partner with the NCSC to deliver these fully virtual training programmes.

TechNation ‘Lockdown Unlocked’ – Event: 5 May 2020

Tech Nation is running an event next Tuesday about scaling a tech company through this crisis. You can see the full listing here but below is the agenda so you can decide if any part of it would be useful to you


  • 10:00 – Tech Nation Welcome

  • 10:10 – Government Keynote

  • 10:20 – Futurist Keynote – How will covid-19 affect global economies in the future?


  • 10:30 – Investor Panel with Q&A – How will the funding landscape change post covid-19?

  • 11:00 – Debate – What is the role of the state vs the role of the ecosystem/VC during this crisis?

  • 11:20 – Government Panel with Q&A – Moving past the pandemic – How can government support the tech sector?


12:00 – Leadership during Lockdown

12:30 – Scenario Planning – Unlocking opportunities and Containing the Risks

13:00 – Cash is King


You’ll also have the opportunity to network (virtually) with the wider UK tech community, offer support and connect with those facing similar challenges.

Update from TechNation

I thought that you might be interested in some of the other events I’ve listed below that are not from Tech Nation but may be valuable to you or some of the people you’re connected with. 

Event: Office Hours for Female Founders with Playfair Capital

From Playfair Capital: Our third, remote edition of our collaborative Female Founder Investor Office Hours builds on the success of our events in February 2020 and November last year.

This time, we’re going fully remote to broaden access to female founders across the country, supported by Tech Nation and 30 investors from the UK’s leading VCs alongside the Playfair Capital team.

The primary aim of this initiative is mentorship & support, and secondary is fundraising. We hope that with time, the two will go hand-in-hand.

We welcome applications from any UK-based female founder whose business is tech and pre-Series A. We will do our best to accommodate as many founders as possible and provide support to all regardless. Applications will close at midnight on Sunday 24th May.

Register here

Event: Storytelling for Startups

I previously hosted Martyn for him to deliver his two-part workshop: Storytelling for Startups and Ideas to Say Yes to. The feedback from those workshops was exceptional and Martyn is running them again, this time online and with Barclays.

Part one is happening tomorrow:

Event: Deloitte: Operational resilience in high growth companies: Practical considerations for senior leaders working within finance, compliance and risk

From the event page:
“As the UK continues its lockdown, we are pleased to invite you to join our next webinar for high growth, tech-enabled business leaders, exploring “operational resilience amongst firms in the high growth sector”.

A topic perhaps now more pertinent than ever, this 60 minute webinar will be hosted by Deloitte subject matter experts on how the UK high growth, tech-enabled sector can address and navigate operational risk, both now, and in the coming months.

We are also delighted to be joined by Richard Caven of Amazon Web Services (AWS), who will provide an overview on what operational resilience means at AWS and how high growth, tech-enabled businesses can achieve operational resilience when using AWS Cloud.”

Register here


Gino Brancazio
Entrepreneur Engagement Manager – Wales 

IntaPeople Digital Round Table – Event: 13 May 2020

Each industry has its own set of unique challenges, none more so than those which we are faced with today brought on by the global Covid-19 pandemic. During these unprecedented times we believe it will be useful to bring together tech leaders such as yourself, to create an environment for you to chat with others that may be facing similar challenges, discuss ideas, and to learn from each other.

As such we’d like to invite you to a digital round table event that we are chairing @ 10am on Wednesday 13th May 2020.

This free online session will be about 30 mins in duration, and will include open discussions centered around topics of your choice, such as:
* How has your business been affected by COVID-19?
* What are the biggest challenges that you/your department/your business is facing at the moment?
* How are you managing and motivating remote teams/workers?
* How are you planning for post lockdown? social distancing measures?, etc.
* Has this situation changed how you view remote working? Will it become the norm for your business moving forward if it wasn’t already?

This is an opportunity for you to ask questions, air views, and to chat with other like-minded leaders in your industry, in order to share thoughts, strategies, methods and ideas. You are not alone, what is a challenge in your business is likely to be affecting others in a similar way.

If you would like a seat at the digital round table for tech leaders please let Jon Stock know on

If you can’t make it, but would still like to have a chat then let me know and we’ll arrange a call shortly after the event to share a summary of what was discussed.

CYBERUK – New Dates

Thank you for your patience and goodwill during these challenging times. The NCSC has been working hard to establish a new date for the postponed CYBERUK 2020.

We are pleased to confirm that the postponed event will take place at ICC Wales on 11-12 May 2021.

If you have booked an Exhibition Stand
As a valued supporter of CYBERUK 2020 we are pleased to confirm that your package and contract can be directly transferred to the new date. To do this, please notify us that you are happy to continue, and we will issue you with a Contract Addendum that will need to be signed and returned to secure your position.
Thank you for paying your invoice prior to postponement, no further payment is required and this will be transferred to the event in May 2021.
If you are unable to transfer your package to the new date please get in contact as soon as possible and we will organise a credit note/ refund accordingly.

If you were not able to book an Exhibition Stand
The event exhibition was fully booked at the time of postponement. However, if any of the existing exhibitors are not able to attend on the new dates, then a number of stands may become available.
Please let us know if you are interested in booking a stand if one becomes available.
Contact: has created a Marketplace

Innovators are at the very heart of Europe’s new industrial strategy which charts a course for it transition towards digital leadership. Europe’s industrial strengths include high quality research, and a vibrant start-up ecosystem and a mature infrastructure, key elements of the cybersecurity landscape. Cybersecurity is a top priority in Europe with the EU investing in research and innovation since the early 1990s. A rich array of large and small businesses, universities and research organisations ensure a there is a constant flow of new results, services and skills emerging.

The EC-funded project has created a marketplace which captures these diverse innovations and is home to the many results of R&I projects. By building and nurturing a community of dynamic innovators in cybersecurity & privacy areas, the project has created a grass roots environment for innovation exploitation and sustainability opportunities. This natural framework connects research results with both the demand and supply sides.

With many results from H2020 projects featured, EU SMEs have also taken advantage of the platform and published their own innovative solutions on the platform. Users can preview and validate new leading-edge services, showcase their own solutions to potential users or partners who can support them in the evolution from prototype to real market solutions. In addition, users can provide early validation and feedback, thus possibly steer the direction of future development and research.

The Marketplace is an excellent chance also for end-users, in particular SMEs, which can benefit from services and solutions supplied by R&I projects, having the opportunity to both test and implement beyond the state-of-the-art cybersecurity solutions. This gives them a competitive advantage and the opportunity to attract more customers, create personalised services, sell premium cybersecurity- & privacy-enhanced services, and productise cybersecurity & privacy solutions.

The platform addresses end-users’ needs, enabling user-friendly discovery of the leading edge solutions which are present on it. The products can be filtered according to the five categories provided by the Network and Information Security (NIS).

We look forward to having your product in our marketplace catalogue.

Insert your product now by registering in and following the instructions.

NCSC CyberFirst Residential Summer Courses

Normally at this time of year we would be looking to see how many students had signed up for the CyberFirst residential summer courses at venues all over the United Kingdom. As you would expect, we have had to have a rethink and I’m delighted to announce that we will be running the courses in online virtual classrooms.

This allows us to continue to provide instructor led sessions which guide the students through the course content and labs at every stage and enables us to retain both SQA and NCSC Certified course status.

Bookings will be available from 10:00am on Monday 27th April with a formal HMG press release going out on Wednesday 29th April. I would be grateful if you would help promote through your educational and outreach channels from 27th April.

A few summary points about the courses:

CyberFirst summer courses are moving online featuring;

  • Fun and interactive, instructor led sessions in virtual classrooms
  • 2 weeks FREE structured learning in either morning or afternoon sessions
  • Dates available from June – August
  • Live guest speakers from industry and government
  • SQA and NCSC Certified content

Visit for further information and booking

Applications for the National Cyber Security Centre’s hugely popular CyberFirst summer courses are now open. The courses, usually held all across the UK, are moving online this year to help more than a thousand 14–17 year-olds develop key cyber skills from home during the coronavirus pandemic. Enrolled students will learn how to code and carry out cybersecurity operations in an instructor-led virtual classroom to help guide the students through the programme and build a sense of camaraderie within each cohort.

The summer programme has more than 1000 places and three courses to choose from:

Thank you very much for your help and support.

DIT Benelux Defence Security Updates – Events

September 2020 – Online
Webinar for SMEs and newcomers on how to do business with the NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA)
Organised by DIT and UK MoD, date to be announced. For more information, please contact Thomas Flammant to register your interest (Desk +352 22 98 64 2216).

17 September 2020, The Hague
Public Security Exhibition The Netherlands
After the annual PSE in Belgium, there will also be a Dutch edition in 2020, organised by DIT The Netherlands in partnership with ADS. For more information, please contact Christian van der Woude (Tel +31 6 5541 4210).

13 October 2020, Mons
NATO Information Assurance Symposium
This is NATO’s largest cyber conference with an exhibition space. For an idea of last year’s edition, take a look at For more information about 2020, please contact David Walker (Desk: +32 2 287 6234).

19 November 2020, Rotterdam
NIDV Exhibition
The NEDS exhibition is the flagship Defence Security event in The Netherlands, well attended annually by Dutch government officials. For more information, please contact Christian van der Woude (Tel +31 6 5541 4210).

2-3 December 2020, London
International Security Expo
Attended by DIT with official delegations, more info at

8-10 December 2020, Rotterdam
Defence Technology (The annual submarine industry event from Clarion events, UDT, brings together researchers, military end users and professionals spanning the entire supply chain The 2020 edition will take place in Rotterdam, in the Netherlands. For more information, please contact Christian van der Woude (Tel +31 6 5541 4210).

20- 21 January 202 1 (date tbc) Capellen
UK Industry Day at NATO Support and Procurement Agency (Organised by DIT Luxembourg and Belgium. For more information, please contact Thomas Flammant (Desk +352 22 98 64 2216).

HMRC Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme Update

More than 285,000 businesses have already applied for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme since it went live on Monday 20 April.

To be sure payment comes through to you before the end of the month, you will need to apply today (Wednesday 22‌‌ April).

Accessing the system

We have noticed that some people have had difficulty accessing the system because they do not have an active PAYE enrolment. In order to make claim you will need to:

  • have a Government Gateway (GG) ID and password – if you don’t already have a GG account, you can apply here, or by going to GOV.UK and searching for ‘HMRC services: sign in or register’
  • be enrolled for PAYE online – if you aren’t registered yet, you can do so now, or by going to GOV.UK and searching for ‘PAYE Online for employers’.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme Calculator

We are updating the online calculator tool this afternoon, so that it covers more employment circumstances. The update will mean that you can use it to work out what you can claim for most employees who are paid variable amounts each pay period, as well as those who are paid fixed amounts.

If you have already made a claim

Please retain all records and calculations for your claims, in case we need to contact you about them. Provided your claim is made in accordance with HMRC’s published guidance, you can expect to receive the funds six working days after your application. Please do not contact us before this time.

HMRC will check claims made through the scheme and will act to protect public money against anyone who makes a claim using dishonest or fraudulent information.

We continue to be busy supporting customers at this time, so we would ask that you only call us if you can’t find what you need on GOV‌.UK or through our webchat service – this will leave our lines open for those who need our help most.

We’d encourage you to also protect your own credentials from potential scammers and opportunist criminal activity.

I wish you all the best at this challenging time.

First Permanent Secretary and Chief Executive – HMRC