The government is hunting UK-based cybersecurity start-ups for its GCHQ Cyber Accelerator programme.
The scheme will help start-ups develop security software into fully fledged commercial products and connect them with tech experts across GCHQ itself and the National Cyber Security Centre.
GCHQ selected seven vendors for the first iteration of the scheme in January, but has now extended the programme to nine months and is encouraging the next wave of start-ups to apply.
The first seven vendors have raised more than £2.7m in investment, the government said, and have won deals with tech giants including Cisco.
Matt Hancock, minister for digital, said: "We are working hard to make Britain the best place to start and grow a digital business, and the safest place to be online.
"The GCHQ Cyber Accelerator is a vital part of this work and has already helped some of the most innovative cyber security start-ups develop cutting edge new products and services.
"I'm pleased to announce the programme is being extended and encourage the nation's talented entrepreneurs to apply."
John Quinn, founder of Progress Distribution, told CRN that the government should work harder to collaborate with security specialists in the channel, rather than just the larger systems integrators.
Quinn launched Progress in August last year and harbours ambitions to launch an emerging technology incubator in London.
"I just don't think there's enough initiative from the government around cybersecurity," he said. "There are a lot of conversations but no one seems to be doing a lot.
"When you look at the large SIs they talk to the government agencies quite a bit, but I don't see a lot of action. There needs to be more in terms of looking at bleeding edge technology incubation.
"The government seems to have a lot of conversations around the legacy vendors, but they are not getting the advice they need from them. They just don't have their finger on the pulse so they need to speak to companies that are more on the bleeding edge in the channel," Quinn added.
Badge will cover basic coding skills and app development, among other things
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