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Cyber Innovation Lab

A first of its kind Cyber Innovation Lab

Spanning across 12 to 18-months, this completely tailored programme will accelerate your innovation and growth by helping you to create market-ready commercial products.

The Cyber Innovation Lab incubates best-in-class cyber, data science and AI start-ups and scale-ups to support the rapid development and commercialisation of industry-leading disruptive innovations.

Join the region’s best cyber, data science and AI innovators from across sectors to collaborate on new, industry-leading disruptive innovations that push the boundaries of cyber security.

Through our partnership with Lancaster University, the Cyber Innovation Lab provides academic support from specialists in AI and Cyber to HOST members.

HOST Cyber

Key to the lab is HOST Cyber, in partnership with Salford City Council, which creates a unique cyber sandbox, allowing incubated start-ups to accelerate and validate their IP across a real-world commercial environment.

Use real anonymised data to build, develop and test ideas in a safe sandbox environment and get new technologies ready to take to market.

The Cyber Innovation Lab offers you:

  • A programme created by innovators who have lived experience of accelerating their products through support programmes – we know what works
  • An entirely tailored 12 to 18-month plan to support your innovation
  • Tailored programming by HOST team members to ensure you benefit from our partnerships

Here to give you the right environment to test and innovate

The HOST Cyber Innovation Lab is a unique environment that supports the rapid development and commercialisation of intelligent cyber, AI, and data science projects.

With an experimental test network, VM’s, malware analysis, reverse engineering tools, a range of hardware and software, bespoke datasets, and a pool of domain experts, the Cyber Innovation Lab sits alongside the HOST Cyber.

Benefit from a safe test environment that emulates real-world scenarios to train and test innovations from a commercial perspective through sharing information.

The Innovation Labs works with your team to provide support in setting fixed objectives that you can measure. It empowers you to work with us to schedule the resources you need -such as lab time, domain expertise, or access to data- while protecting the project's innovation freedom.

Do you need further information? Why not browse our FAQs (below) or contact us

The programme also includes:

Understand and access different funding and investment opportunities to support your growth.

Introductions to universities, clinical, corporate and public sector partners to help with research and development resources.

Through IN4.0 Talent and Skills City’s industry-sponsored academies, we provide on-demand talent recruitment to support growth.

We match founders and their senior management teams with relevant mentors who will provide tailored 1-1 leadership support.

Expertise from HOST’s in-house sales and marketing experts provides you with support on developing campaign strategies and outreach across our community.

Specialist professional services support includes clinics on intellectual property (IP), legals, tax and accountancy, regulatory and public sector procurement.

Advice on accessing international markets through workshops and clinics with the Department for International Trade North West team.

Access to over 48 events per year that span innovation, business growth, wellbeing and culture.


If you are an innovator, business, or project lead dedicated to solving a compelling problem using cyber, AI, and data science; this programme is for you!

We are seeking innovators with a proven product, demonstrable concept, or prototype that can be piloted in a structured way in collaboration with HOST and HOST partner support, and who can commit to approximately 2 – 3 hours of direct engagement and support per week over 12 -18-months. Applicants can come from across the UK.

Programme participants are required to purchase a HOST Incubation Membership for 12 to 18 months, costing £500 + VAT per month.

The cost of the programme provides participants with all the benefits of being an Incubation Member at HOST in addition to enrolment to the Cyber Innovation Lab. This includes 1:1 mentorship and direct support from HOST Cyber, AI and data science experts, business growth and innovation support, and access to the SOC and HOST Cyber (for two members of the team at a time).



No, we want to make sure that the programme is the right fit for you, and that you are the right fit for our programme, and therefore two separate meet and greets will be facilitated to get to know each other and determine whether your business will be brought onto the programme.

This programme is delivered by HOST alongside its partners including Lancaster University.

Yes, some of the most successful businesses originally started as side projects. Some founders worked on their products for years before they become successful enough to go all in. So, you don’t have to quit your job to go through the programme – you do, however, need to be available to attend workshops, mentoring sessions, and focus on metrics, and hitting goals during the 12 to 18 months.

The programme will begin in August 2021.

The programme will be delivered both virtually and via HOST, Salford’s Home of Skills and Technology, based in the heart of MediaCity.

You own your IP, with HOST not owning any IP that belongs to your company and does not take a proportion of your profits. If you have further questions about IP or a current project you are working on, please contact us at 

No - we won’t tell you what to work on or give you ideas. We will facilitate ideation, visioning, networking & collaboration, and have an inventory of tools to help you shape your project.

We’re most interested in projects/innovations/businesses that have the ambition and capacity to innovate and grow, and are tackling those challenges and issues as identified in our eligibility criteria. 

We are looking for projects that would most benefit from this experience, are ambitious, are creative, are collaborative, and have the capacity to scale. 

It's important to note that this is a 12 to 18-month commitment, and we are looking for companies that can commit to two to three hours of direct engagement a week throughout the programme. 

20 businesses will be part of this cohort.

Applications are due by midnight on Wednesday 9th July.

By bringing together business growth support, labs, testing and validation environments, access to training data along with input and oversight from leading academics and commercial specialists, we will offer first-rate support for the next generation of intelligent cyber solutions.

Saskia Coplans, Director of Innovation for cyber, data science and AI at HOST

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