CYBER WEST CHALLENGE Contest Launched in France

27.06.2016 Europe
CYBER WEST CHALLENGE Contest Launched in France

CYBER WEST CHALLENGE Contest Launched in France

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The Cyber Pole of Excellence was created in Brittany (France) in 2013, giving this region a strong position in the cyber defense sector.

Brittany possesses the assets that make it a key region for European cyber strategy: dedicated academic R&D capacities, large industrial groups, high-quality training, regional presence of the Armed Forces, and permanent support from competent institutional structures.

This favorable environment gave birth in Lorient to the idea of the CYBER WEST CHALLENGE (CWC), a contest for start-ups in the cyber sector (cyber security and cyber defense).

The contest is supported by prominent partners in the sector - companies, banks, military sites in the Sorbian area, Université de Bretagne Sud - and receives financial backing from Défense Conseil International (DCI), SFLD (a Lorient-based capital investment firm) and DCNS. Financial support from these three main partners comes in the form of investment in the winning start-ups.

The contest is organized by Lorient-based technology cluster Audelor, which is managing the project. The project leader is Anne Le Hénanff.

The other contest partners are: Diateam, the Saint-Cyr Coëtquidan schools, ACE management, Thales, DCNS, VIPE, Audelor, SFLD, Victanis, DCI, UBS and Crédit Agricole du Morbihan. They are expected to be joined by additional partners in the near future.

CWC prizes give specific support for start-ups in the cyber defense sector by offering a dedicated, secure space for their development in proximity to major contractors (Armed Forces, DCNS, Thales, University, etc.). As part of its future development, the contest also plans to set up a cyber incubator in Lorient where project promoters will be offered a specific space to accelerate the emergence of start-ups. The incubator offers several strong points: a favorable industrial, R&D, training and military ecosystem, as well as an ideal geographic location.

Candidates are individuals or companies presenting an innovative concept or process that comes within the scope of the contest. Applications will be available on the contest website as of 13th June 2016.

The contest organizers will distribute a total of 300,000 euros to a maximum of four prize winners, allowing them to create their start-up, to be hosted at no charge in an incubator in Vannes or Lorient and to carry out a research trip to Cambridge University, England. The application deadline is 30th September 2016.

A committee of experts from DCI, the Saint-Cyr Coëtquidan schools, ACE Management, VICTANIS, DCNS, AUDELOR, VIPE, Diateam and others, will review the applications and establish a short list.

The four prize winners will be determined by jury. The jury will comprise representatives from institutions, private partners, elected officials and the contest’s financial partners. Prizes will be awarded to the most innovative projects offering strong growth potential in the cyber defense or cyber security sector.

Selection criteria will cover all “technical and non-technical” measures to protect network-connected people and equipment, and designed to ensure availability, integrity, authenticity and confidentiality, as well as aspects linked to project viability from a financial viewpoint, growth potential, job creation or development projects.

Prizes will be awarded at a gala ceremony in Lorient in December 2016.

This contest aims to foster the emergence of innovative, high-potential start-ups in the cyber sector in the Morbihan département. In addition to the prize winners, other candidates will have the opportunity to be identified by other structures (incubators, R&D centers, business accelerators…) that can support their projects. The contest, therefore, aims to provide an opportunity for all candidates to promote their projects and turn them into reality.



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