GCHQ Manchester Engineering accelerator

This ground-breaking initiative will bring together Wayra UK, GCHQ, Cisco and industry expertise to develop new technology businesses.

Entrepreneurs and local start-up firms with cutting-edge new products are now being invited to apply to join the first ‘GCHQ Manchester Engineering Accelerator’ which will run for three months.

Manchester has a strong innovation ethos built on the city’s unique engineering heritage.  The Accelerator will help start-ups rapidly develop their products and businesses through a creative support programme delivered by Wayra UK and connect GCHQ with the vibrant Manchester tech scene.  

The programme will give up to six start-ups time with world-class personnel and technological expertise from across GCHQ, enabling them to expand their capability, improve their business and further develop their cutting-edge products.

The programme will be delivered by Wayra UK, part of Telefónica Open Future, and the selected start-ups will receive benefits to help them scale all aspects of their businesses, including office space, mentoring and contact with an extensive investor network. We are also partnering with Cisco, the worldwide leader in IT and networking; and Manchester Science Partnerships (MSP), the UK's leading science park operator to deliver the programme.

What we offer

Wayra's investor network

Telefónica business development

Extensive acceleration services

Cisco and MSP support

Access to a dedicated accelerator facility

Access to GCHQ and Telefónica cyber experts

GET in touch


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Our challenge to the start-up community

We are looking for companies who are using novel techniques to solve real problems - from individuals at home to the world’s biggest companies.

We also want the next-generation solutions that are faster, better and cheaper than existing ones. However, they must solve a known problem – we are not looking for research proposals, but ideas that make a difference now.

Areas of Interest

The programme will invest in and accelerate start-ups tackling engineering challenges across selected focus areas:

Software Defined Everything (SDE)
Visualisation of Data Engineering
Policy & Process Automation
Machine Learning
Modelling the Science of Analysis
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Q. How was Wayra selected?
Q. Who is Wayra?
Q. Will the companies be invited to work with GCHQ?
Q. What will GCHQ offer after the programme in terms of support?
Q. What happens after the programme ends?
Q. What will GCHQ offer the participants?
Q. Are the companies effectively working for GCHQ?
Q. Are there any restrictions on the type of companies who can apply?
Q. Are the companies required to licence or transfer any of their Intellectual Property to GCHQ or Wayra?
Q. Will GCHQ and/or Wayra UK take any equity in the companies?
Q. What funding do companies receive through the programme?
Q. How long is the programme?
Q. How are the companies chosen?
Q. How does this programme differ from the Cyber Accelerator?
Q. Why is GCHQ running an Engineering Accelerator in Manchester?