Over 250 attendees from Ireland’s Cyber Security ecosystem, made-up of industry, academia, and government, will attend a series of workshops in Cork (18th), Galway (19th) and Dublin (20th) on the 18th-20th of February to discuss “What is needed to make Ireland a cybersecurity centre of excellence?”

The workshops mark the start of an exciting new initiative to establish a national cybersecurity cluster for Ireland – Cyber Ireland. Ireland’s cybersecurity industry employs over 6.000 people and includes many of the world’s top security software MNCs, as well as a growing SME sector. Globally, the cybersecurity sector will be valued at $250 billion within five years, rapidly evolving to tackle the $600 billion which high tech crime is costing governments, companies, and citizens around the world. Recognising this opportunity, a number of well-placed multi-nationals and academic bodies have pooled resources and, backed by IDA Ireland, are working to ensure that the country makes the most of the potential for new job creation and innovation.

Keynote speaker is Klaus Bloving, Cluster Manager of the Danish Security Cluster (CenSec), who will provide insight into how firms, universities, and research organisations can mutually benefit from increased collaboration and the benefits of clustering for cluster members and wider-industry.

Attendees in each region will hear from industry leaders on what is needed to make Ireland a cybersecurity centre of excellence. Some of the key challenges previously highlighted by the cybersecurity industry include a shortage of skills in particular cybersecurity areas, as well as the need to increase the level of cybersecurity research and innovation in the country. Dr Eoin Byrne, who leads the cluster development team, says “Ireland is constantly competing internationally for cyber security jobs, talent, and investment with the likes of other strong regions, such as Northern Ireland, the UK, the Netherlands, Estonia and Israel. A cybersecurity cluster can support the needs of this rapidly growing sector, based on best practices from European cluster organisations, to ensure Ireland is a competitive global location for cybersecurity operations and R&D, and to support indigenous SMEs.”

The workshop will survey what types of initiatives the cluster should provide for its members, regarding Talent and Skills; Enhancing Research and Innovation; Networking and Promotion; and Internationalisation and Business Development. The outputs of the workshop will feed into the cluster’s strategy. The next steps in the establishment of the national cybersecurity cluster are the election of a cluster board and Cyber Ireland will be officially launched, with signed-up cluster members, in May 2019.

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