The UK government, in collaboration with the GCHQ spy agency, has launched a scheme called CyberInvest to fund research into cyber security.
"CyberInvest is about bringing together academia, industry and government to address the critical shortage of high-end cyber research in a more focused way," said GCHQ director Robert Hannigan during the annual IA15 conference in London.
GCHQ is working in collaboration with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and the programme already boasts high-profile members including HP, BT and IBM.
To date, 18 companies have signed up to the scheme and have committed £6.5m of investment over the next five years.
"It's important to recognise that CyberInvest is a new programme and it provides additional targeted investment," said Ed Vaizey, the UK's digital economy minister.
"The UK is one of the leaders in cyber security and one of the reasons that we have a leadership role is because of excellent research that our universities produce.
"The UK is doing well but we want to keep moving forward. Technology in this area changes hugely all the time and other nations are working hard as well so we want to have an even more coordinated and a more focused approach to cyber research."
Vaizey said the CyberInvest scheme will help to give the companies that work alongside the government and intelligence agencies "public recognition".
According to Professor Angela Sasse, head of IT at University College London (UCL), a key benefit of the scheme for academia will be access to data held by GCHQ.
"To do effective research we need access to data in order to study the impact of the new ideas and new technologies that we are developing," she said.
"Sometimes the impression is that all academics want is more money. But in the cyber security space it's very important to realise it's not just about money."
However, while Sasse acknowledged that it may take some time for government and academia to figure out how to work well together she maintained they are natural allies.
"Academia will always be a friend of the government and industry but sometimes it has to be a critical friend," Sasse said.
"We have to speak truth to power, but in collaboration with industry this is a good thing, as by raising doubts early on we will strengthen the products that industry is producing."
Meanwhile Mark Hughes, cyber security director at BT, explained how the technology industry has a "long history" of cyber research investment that is often overlooked.
"We need a better platform to get recognition and showcase the good work that is already going on through collaboration with academic centres," he said.
"[CyberInvest] really does accelerate our ability to gain access to the brightest and best UK academics. That really is something we believe is very important.
"This will then allow us as an industry to commercialise that intellectual property, that it to market and create more product we can be known for in the UK."
Hughes said that BT is investing £500,000 into the CyberInvest scheme over the next five years. Furthermore, he urged businesses of all sizes to sign up.
"We are going to be focusing on our core interests and the programme allows us to have a say in where we want our investment to be focused," he said.
"Our investment areas are visual cyber analytics, cloud protection, the internet of things (IoT) security and quantum key distribution."
Cyber attacks rocket
The joint government initiative comes as GCHQ revealed the amount of cyber attacks it encounters has doubled in a single year, reaching roughly 400 a month compared to 200 in 2014.
According to key officials in the spy agency, this rise in cyber crime activity is forcing GCHQ to become more open.
Ciaran Martin, director general for cyber security at GCHQ, said: "We are no longer able in cyber security just to talk within the community of government and the bits of industry that have historically operated in this space.
"GCHQ's own mission has come a long way from the historic mission written in law, the interpretation of providing the nation with advice on cryptography and information assurance," he continued.
"It has come way beyond its traditional, but still crucial, sovereign high grade military and intelligence capabilities into a much greater and more open duty to inform the nation as a whole about cyber security.
"Cyber security is a team sport and this has to be a partnership between government, industry, academia and many others.
This comes a week after Home Secretary Theresa May outlined plans in the House of Commons for the Investigatory Powers Bill, which will give police and spy agencies increased snooping capabilities.
The proposals were met with anger from civil rights organisations for infringing on personal privacy, with campaign group Liberty calling the Bill an "astonishing assault" on internet security in the UK.
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