These are the seven cybersecurity startups selected to work alongside GCHQ spy agency

The seven companies will receive workspace and guidance at the new Cheltenham Cyber Innovation Centre in an effort to help deliver 'the next generation of cybersecurity systems".

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GCHQ in Cheltenham will host cybersecurity startups.

Image: GCHQ

The first UK security startups to work alongside GHCQ as part of its cyber accelerator scheme designed to help protect the country against hackers and cyberattacks have been revealed and the scheme has officially launched.

Announced in September, GCHQ's cyber accelerator forms part of the government's £1.9bn National Cyber Security Programme and will see cybersecurity companies working within the new Cheltenham Cyber Innovation Centre in an effort to deliver 'the next generation of cybersecurity systems".

The first seven companies selected to work in the scheme in partnership with the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), and Wayra UK are CounterCraft, Cyberowl, Cybersmart, FutureScaper, Spherical Defence, StatusToday and Verimuchmie.

Starting now, all of the companies selected to join the accelerator will begin a three-month development programme inside provided office space within the GCHQ Cyber Accelerator as well as access to GHCQ personnel, mentoring and contact with investors.

"I congratulate all the companies selected to join the new accelerator facility which is now open for business," said minister for digital and culture Matt Hancock MP, describing the scheme as an important step in delivering the national cyber security strategy.

"The accelerator will help UK entrepreneurs create cutting-edge technology to better protect the nation from cyber attacks and make going online safer for all," he added.

The Cheltenham accelerator forms the first of two innovation centres being formed as part of the government's National Cyber Security Programme, with a second centre to open in London later this year.

"The accelerator will combine GCHQ's understanding of the challenges and deep expertise in cyber security with innovative and cutting edge companies. It will help to develop the next generation of security technologies needed to keep us all safe in cyber space," said Chris Ensor, NCSC Deputy Director for Cyber Security Skills and Growth.

The government's cybersecurity accelerator isn't the only scheme looking to bolster the UK's defences against cyberattacks and hackers; Bletchley Park, the iconic estate where Alan Turing and many other codebreakers helped decrypt Nazi communications, is set to be the home of the UK's first National College for Cyber Security.

Backed by QUFARO, a not-for-profit body created by senior figures at Cyber Security Challenge UK, the National Museum of Computing at Bletchley Park, the Institute of Information Security Professionals, BT Security, and cybersecurity firm Raytheon, the college will be designed to nurture cybersecurity skills of 'gifted' 16- to 19-year olds.

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