Full transcript of Director GCHQ Jeremy Fleming’s speech for the 2021 Vincent Briscoe Lecture for the Institute for Security, Science and Technology

Director’s 2021 Vincent Briscoe Lecture


Good afternoon and thank you to Professor Walmsley for the kind introduction.

Thanks also to Imperial College for the honour of being asked to deliver this year’s Vincent Briscoe Annual Security Lecture. I am grateful that so many of you have been able to join us today, and I hope that I can live up to the standards set by both Vincent Briscoe and those who have gone before me.

I’m really looking forward to talking to you. I want to explore how the digital world is evolving and what that means.

My aim is to help increase understanding of the role that the UK and like-minded partners could play in shaping the future. And how GCHQ – with our specialist understanding of threats and security – is uniquely placed to add to the debate about the big choices our society faces.

Now, I’ve had the privilege of being Director GCHQ for four years. I remember my first day in 2017. That feeling of being amazed at the breadth of the mission. Of the deep expertise of the brilliant people who choose to find purpose in our work. And of a palpable sense of history. Even though I had spent 25 years in the intelligence world, I couldn’t have predicted what lay ahead.

Just think back. In that Spring and Summer of 2017 we saw five dreadful terrorist attacks in London and Manchester and a serious cyber attack in Wannacry which badly affected the NHS.

And every day since I’ve seen first-hand the extent of the threats we face. The ways in which they are disrupted and mitigated by amazing people in my organisation alongside our many friends and partners here in the UK and overseas. Their work, often unsung, has made the UK a safer place and I thank them for their service.

But as well as responding to immediate threats we’ve also been busy adapting and changing for the future.

Over the last four years, we’ve established the National Cyber Security Centre to keep the country safe online and become a world leader in cyber security. We’ve moved to new places, opening an office in Manchester, to tap into a diverse city with a thriving tech sector. More recently, we’ve worked with our military partners to create the National Cyber Force, giving the country the capability to contest hostile states and criminals in cyberspace. And we’ve become much more prominent in public debates about the future security of technology: everything from 5G to the ethical questions surrounding the use of Artificial Intelligence.

As in so many other places, this pace of change – in both threats and our response – has accelerated during the pandemic.

We’ve adapted to new requirements to play a full part in the country’s response. We’ve helped the NHS to defend themselves, providing threat hunting support to NHS Digital, we’ve scanned over one million NHS IP addresses for vulnerabilities, we’ve rolled-out active cyber defence capabilities, to protect the vaccine supply chain. And of course, we’ve helped the Government understand how others may be trying to undermine our security too.

And all of these changes are in response to a world where cyber is underpinning more of our lives. Where innovations in technology have made it even more central to our societies. And where data has become the Crown jewels that we must protect.

Now some of you may know that I was meant to give this lecture last year.  And then again last week.  Of course, that wasn’t to be: Covid-19 and then the sad passing of the Duke of Edinburgh, changed all of our plans. I’m grateful for your patience and whilst I’m disappointed not to be with you in person, I’m delighted you have been able to log-in today to join me as I speak from our Headquarters here in Cheltenham.

Of course, that means you’ve had to grapple with another online meeting. I’m sure you’re asbored as I am of shouting ‘you’re still on mute’ at a colleague or struggling to keep the cat off the keyboard.  But, I think we can all agree that the past year would have been much more difficult without this technology.

The Digital World

And so today, it is fitting that I’m going to talk to you about the way the digital world is changing and why we must act to ensure this happens in a way that supports, rather than undermines, our prosperity and our values.

In the industrial revolution, energy was harnessed to drive progress. In this new age of technology, it’s data that’s fuelling innovation.

Now GCHQ has always had data, and the technology that produces it, at its heart. We protect the country from real world harm through our intelligence mission. We protect the country’s digital homeland through our cybersecurity mission. And we protect and extend our reach through the cyber operations mission.

And our successes in keeping the UK safe are always intertwined with technology. Communications rely on it. Cyberspace is enabled by it and cyber security is dependent on it.

But technology is obviously about much more than that. Today it is fundamental to our social fabric and to the UK’s competitive edge.

The Integrated Review – A Focus on Science, Technology and Cyber
Just last month, the government released the Integrated Review. It talks of the UK’s place in the world. It sets out a long term plan for security, defence, development and foreign policy. It provides strategic intent to guide policy across government. And it goes much further and wider in defining the UK’s defence, security, prosperity and our intelligence interests.

Science, technology, cyber and data are especially prominent themes. The Review outlines our national strengths in these areas and sets out the opportunities for the future.

But it also explains how these are now arenas for competition. How the lines between peace and conflict are blurred. How technology has enabled a new and evolving threat that requires a different response.

And so it calls for a focus on science and tech to make Britain stronger. It acknowledges that how we do that is as important as the tech itself. That we need to focus on new standards and alliances. And that we must work with others to shape the ethics and values that will define emerging tech and the future internet.

GCHQ – The Pace of Technological Change

Now in my World, you can see GCHQ’s purpose reflected throughout the Integrated Review. Our unique insight and expertise means we have the potential to help the country beyond our traditional intelligence, security and cyber roles. That we have a responsibility to help pioneer a new approach to this ever more complex threat.

When we were formed over a century ago, communication technology was in its infancy. If you wanted to talk to someone who was not within earshot, your electronic options were a telegraph or, for very few, a ‘telephone’. If you made a phone call, it would be expensive, it would be on fixed copper wires and you’d be manually connected by an operator on a switchboard. International calls were still years away.

Now compare that to the convenience we have today: all of you are watching via an internet enabled device, probably using WiFi. You can communicate globally in just a few clicks, with data rates over copper wires that are 5,000 times faster than in those early days of electronic communication. And conversely, the costs of the connection have reduced to almost zero.

This evolution has shaped modern life.

As technology never stands still, GCHQ continually adapts to keep ahead.

And that’s particularly true at this moment in history. Newer, better, faster inventions are on the horizon. Data volumes are doubling every two years, driven by innovation and new users. 63% of the world population are now online, with Asia making up over half of all internet users. Estimated figures for data created and consumed globally this year are 74 zettabytes. In 2010 that number was just two zettabytes. There are over three and a half billion smartphone users. That’s already almost half the population of earth and it’s still growing fast.

So it’s mind boggling when you think about how interconnected we are today. And there’s no sign that the pace is slowing.

And it follows that this interconnective-ness has increasing implications for all of us.

Mainly these are on the upside. The technologies of tomorrow bring even more opportunities for individuals. Opportunities for the country and opportunities for the World. I can’t wait to see what that looks like.

But equally, as a society, we can’t wait to tackle some of the bigger questions raised by these developments. And doing so, requires a new debate about the balances we are going to have to strike as a country and as a planet.

The Digital World as an Ecosystem

Now these topics can be hard to grasp and they are easy to ignore.

So, to help me explain what’s going on, let’s look at the real world. I think it was Mark Twain who said, “There is no such thing as a new idea”.

I hold my hands up that many thought leaders, people like Geoffrey West and Chris Donnelly, have used an analogy with nature before me. But I’m going to reuse it again today because it works so well with the situation we now face.

We’re all familiar with the concept of evolution. Living things adapt to their environment to help them seize new opportunities and to succeed despite threats from competitors.

But what gives one organism the edge over the other?

It’s the slightest difference in colour or design that helps a plant or animal live, survive and thrive. And this becomes the basis for natural selection – those best adapted to their environment flourish. And when a large change event happens, like an ice age, it is even more evident. It’s not the biggest or strongest that survive, it’s those that are most able to adjust that prosper.

Now, if we flip that to the digital world we can see a Darwinian ecosystem where states, tech companies, individuals are the animals in this realm.  As they compete to survive, they evolve new characteristics.

Sometimes, as in nature, this happens in small steps. Think about an animal that gains an advantage because of a tiny variation in size; now think about mobile phones over the years, where size or battery life has often driven innovation and sales. Sometimes there are jumps in evolution – like a new wing developing on an insect species. A digital equivalent would be something like the move from networking with wires to ubiquitous wireless connection via WiFi, Bluetooth, 4 and 5G.

Today, in the digital environment, the UK has evolved to thrive. We may be geographically small but we are the world’s fifth largest economy and a global trading nation with impact far beyond physical size.

That influence and advantage needs to be constantly reinvented. The country’s prosperity and security, the quality of life of its citizens, and the influence the government is able to project are all heavily dependent on the benefits from interconnected, digital technologies.

But that advantage comes from other things too: we are world leaders in cyber defence through the NCSC. The National Cyber Force is transforming the UK’s cyber capabilities to disrupt adversaries through cyberspace. We have a strong tech sector and world class universities training the next generation in science and tech.

And taken together all this means that today, the UK really is a global cyber power – if you like, a big animal in the digital world.

But historic strength does not mean we can assume we will be so in the future.

In the real world, scientific consensus agrees we face a climate emergency. And in the digital environment, we face another existential threat to our way of life as the old order is replaced by players who don’t share our values or follow the rules. To stay relevant, the UK and like-minded allies are recognising that the landscape is shifting and that there is a pressing need to act.

I know it’s hard but if we opt out of this conversation, if we choose not to take action, if we try to rest on our past success, it will be our adversaries and competitors who shape the future world we live in.

The Integrated Review shows that the UK is taking this seriously. But what does that mean in practice?

To answer this question, we need to look at today’s digital environment: how it’s changing, the issues that’s posing, the threats that are enabled and the opportunities created…

Connectivity and Online Communities

So let’s start by looking at how we use technology.

I’ve already talked about the explosion of connectivity. Humans are social animals and technology enables our need to communicate.

Of course, it’s much more complex than that. You can order food, access a service, know where the next bus is or pay for a hire bike and get peddling – all at the click of a button. This connectedness and interoperability generates huge volumes of data and it brings huge convenience.

It unites those with shared interests and enables vibrant online communities.

And these are all massively positive things.

But we must acknowledge that our adversaries benefit too. They exploit the tools that were meant to bring society together, to instead create discord. They misuse that power to fuel division, exploit vulnerable people and peddle extreme views.

And it’s this complexity of a sprawling ecosystem – every positive has a possible opposite – that makes the digital world so difficult to manage and secure.

So think about emerging technologies like quantum computing; about vendors and systems that aren’t always interoperable; think about all the interacting with legacy systems that cannot easily be replaced; about highly regulated industries like telecoms and energy coming together with highly unregulated industries like the internet and smart cities.

This has huge consequences for what we need to protect – what we call the critical national infrastructure – as it becomes more distributed and diffuse. It affects how we regulate, makes it harder to compel the provision of information for law enforcement or cyber security and it adds risk in the supply of products and services. It presents a fundamentally different challenge.

And it’s one that has come into even sharper focus over the past year. Our reliance on technology to stay close to loved ones, enable different ways of working and access crucial services has dramatically increased.

And most of this has been to our benefit. But it’s benefitted our foes too as they exploit the accelerations in connectivity and poor cyber security.

So we’ve seen criminals sending ‘phishing’ emails offering ‘cures’ for the virus, and of course instead they infect computers with malware in a bid to acquire money or your identity.  At a national level, we have seen state hackers attempting to steal coronavirus research and exploit supply chains.

And perhaps even more perniciously, we’ve seen ransomware become a serious threat, both in terms of scale and severity  Increasingly, it targets crucial providers of public services, as well as businesses, as criminals play on our dependence on tech. It has resulted in serious disruptions to education, health and local authorities. It’s caused huge losses for unprepared businesses. And has rapidly become a significant threat to our supply chains. There’s a whole other lecture here about the need for concerted action to address this trend – but for now, all I’d say is that it’s growing at an alarming rate.

Nevertheless, our appetite for technology shows no sign of slowing. So, let’s turn to what that means for technology development.

Historically, this was largely driven and owned by the West. It was a virtuous circle: government and private sector investment identified new markets and fuelled new research. Shared values among involved nations meant industry standards for emerging technologies tended to be global. This in turn encouraged free-trade and international dialogue. Those countries at the forefront gained wealth and status. This enabled national security, improved the lot of citizens, and drew in funding for the next wave of investment.

And so on.

Today, we are in a different era. We can see that significant technology leadership is moving East. It’s causing a conflict of interests. Of values. Where prosperity and security are at stake.

And the effects on us of this change – in the short term and longer term – differ depending on our vital interests and the capabilities and intent of other states. As an intelligence chief, I am bound to say that Russia and China remain of concern.

Just last week, the UK, US and others called out Russia for carrying out the SolarWinds compromise. Russia’s pattern of malign behaviour around the world – whether in cyberspace, in election interference or in the aggressive operations of their intelligence services – demonstrates that it remains the most acute threat to the UK’s national and collective security.

Previously, I and others have pointed out that in terms of our national security, Russia is affecting the weather, whilst China is shaping the climate. That remains the case. But when it comes to technology, I’ll use another analogy. The threat posed by Russia’s activity is like finding a vulnerability on a specific app on your phone – it’s potentially serious, but you can probably use an alternative.  However, the concern is that China’s size and technological weight means that it has the potential to control the global operating system.

In practice, that means that states like China are early implementors of many of the emerging technologies that are changing the digital environment. They have a competing vision for the future of cyberspace and are playing strongly into the debate around international rules and standards.

And it’s a vision driven by a complex mix of national pressures. Population increases; the need for economic growth; perceptions of threats to their security and national interests, all influence their actions. And for tech, this means they are bringing all elements of state power to control, influence design and dominate markets. Often with the effect of pushing out smaller players and reducing innovation.

And states that do not share our values build their own illiberal values into the standards and technology upon which we may become reliant. If that happens, and it turns out to be insecure or broken or undemocratic, everyone is going to be facing a very difficult future.

The effect is to turn technology markets into new areas of geopolitical competition, and the development of, and access to technology, into statecraft tools.

So, understanding what drives these players and the impact they can have is key to developing an effective counter strategy.

Let me illustrate what we’re seeing:

There have been concerted campaigns to dominate international Standards developing organisations, where technical protocols and processes are designed and approved.

And we’ve seen determined efforts to use issues of common concern – like climate change – to gain footholds in new tech markets too.

Smart cities are a case in point. They provide great promise to make urban areas more efficient and less polluting through the use of data. The vision is for smart cities to know everything about things, but nothing about individuals. They should help you navigate life, not track your movements. But unchecked, or implemented in the wrong way, there’s a risk that we will import technology which hardwires data collection in ways that go against the interests and values of open, democratic societies.

Digital currencies are another example. Their introduction by some governments hold significant promise to revolutionise the finance sector, making it more resilient, innovative and competitive. But designed without liberal values, they could be used to enable significant intrusions into the lives of citizens and companies in those countries, and those they do business with globally.

There’s a lot at stake here. Let me pull out some of the overarching characteristics:

Firstly, the nature of cyberspace makes the rules and standards more open to abuse. They are there to be followed, but the lack of agreed norms can allow illiberal states to wreak havoc online.

Secondly, the internet was designed with access rather than security in mind. That’s what makes it so ubiquitous, but the flip side is that we have built an ecosystem that is too vulnerable to compromise by criminals and states.

And, thirdly in the face of rapid change, society as a whole is often slow to understand and react to the implications of new technologies. Companies not Governments have rightly led the way. But their investment in shaping future standards naturally favours their commercial interests, and sometimes those don’t align with the interests of ordinary citizens.

So taken together, I hope this paints a picture of today’s digital landscape in all its complex glory. New technology is enabling life online. Cyber security is an increasingly strategic issue that needs a whole nation approach. The rules are changing in ways not always controlled by Government. And without action it is increasingly clear that the key technologies on which we will rely for our future prosperity and security won’t be shaped and controlled by the West.

So, we are now facing a moment of reckoning.

Response to the Challenge

In the natural world, during a period of rapid change, the only option is to adapt. And it’s the same for us.

We cannot turn back the clock, and nor would we want to. Global challenges like climate change and pandemics demand global responses. Overseas investment and global digital trade are essential to our futures. Pulling up the draw-bridge is obviously not an option.

Some of the problems I’ve outlined today can and will be solved by well-considered policy interventions. But it’s also clear that the complex issues at play cannot be solved by piecemeal interventions or a retreat from the international rules based system.

The strategic technological advantage agenda outlined in the Integrated Review is the UK’s response to this challenge. I support the review’s vision for a concerted effort by the UK and allies to use technology to deliver for open societies across the world, and those who aspire to join them.

Now here in GCHQ, we are committed to playing our part in its delivery. Some of this is obvious: we will double down on the actions that have made us a cyber power. But we can also see that there are a number of different ways we can further support this strategy.

Firstly, we can help to develop new partnerships:

We may be an island but we’re far from isolated. It takes collective effort by likeminded allies to use technology to deliver strategic advantage. Only by working with others can we out perform our adversaries.

So we must retain the open, internationally focused mindset that has made Britain the global power it is today. As the Foreign Secretary explained in his recent speech – The UK has a central role on the world stage as a force for good.

We must also lead conversations with allies about global cyber defence. On safeguarding the integrity of our democratic societies. And on how we collaborate in protecting scientific research and supply chains.

As a responsible cyber power, the UK has a key role in shaping international standards and laws. According to the most recent report from the UN special rapporteur on the right to privacy, the legislation which governs my Agency’s actions is World-leading. But it must continue to evolve so we can retain our licence to operate with a myriad of new technologies coming into play.

This means there are important conversations to be had about the doctrine for cyber operations, the implications for international law, as well as on transparency and ethics for these new technologies. We are well placed to help the UK lead the global conversation around all of these issues.

And if the UK takes bold actions, it will also help our allies.

We are not alone in thinking now is the time to do this. As our G7 partners have discussed this year, an initiative that helps one open, democratic nation, supports open societies and democracies everywhere. And as we’ve shown in GCHQ, radical technical initiatives, which automatically provides citizens and business with cyber protections – can readily be adopted across the globe.

Partnerships are just as important closer to home. Here too we need to bring together expertise to tackle the big issues and help the UK punch above its weight.

Working with UK Research and Innovation, we’ve created four Research Institutes to develop cyber security capability in strategically important areas. They work with the public and private sectors, pulling through academic research into real-world interventions.  Imperial College hosts two of these Research Institutes, looking at Software Verification and Interconnected Cyber-physical Systems.

Alongside the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, we are continuing to grow the community of Academic Centres of Excellence, ACEs. This programme recognises UK universities conducting leading cyber research. Imperial is again an exemplar – they were one of the first and are now joined by 18 other Universities, with representation in every home nation.

And in relation to cyber skills, we have been working closely with colleagues across Government to establish the Cyber Security Council. This will drive forward the professionalisation of the workforce in the UK; simplifying the complicated landscape we see today.

We’ve also shown that by convening think thanks, other government organisations, businesses, academics and civic society we can help tackle some of the biggest questions. GCHQ’s recent collaboration with Demos on a ‘good web’ is a great example. From the protocols underpinning the web to the concepts and language we use to discuss it; we have an opportunity to shape a national and global conversation.

Secondly, we can do much more to enable innovation.

The UK has always enjoyed a strong track record. Today, we can be proud of innovations in everything from AI, to biosciences and beyond.

As a country we need to be using all the levers and tools at our disposal to shape and grow key tech and markets. We must do that in a way that helps protect the nation and open society. And that means becoming better at using the power of the state to both foster and protect brilliant developments in technology.

The economist and academic, Mariana Mazzucato explained this neatly. She proposed that the state had a role to play in creating markets – taking on risk at a scale impossible or improbable for a private company.  She said that governments must “do things that are not even envisioned and therefore not done at all”.

Now this is difficult space for Governments.  It involves the taking of different risks. Investing in security and market conditions to enable innovation. And taking especial care to make sure that there are no unintended effects on international trade and investment. It is a delicate balance, but other states are already doing it.

It also requires us to be very clear-eyed about the role we allow others in producing technologies that underpin prosperity and security. I use a simple hierarchy to explain a way of thinking about this.

At the top of the pyramid, a very small percentage of key technologies must be truly sovereign to retain strategic technical advantage – things like elements of the cryptographic technologies that protect the UK’s most sensitive information and capabilities. Or spotting opportunities for building ecosystems critical to our future. We can achieve this by adopting a specific procurement approach, supporting an indigenous market, or by using statutory powers to restrict hostile foreign investment.

At the next level below, we can define a broader set of technologies where it’s in the country’s national and economic security interests to incentivise diversity of supply. Typically, we would look to do this with countries that share our values. We would aim to leverage the UK’s world class research and development and tech innovation to ensure that the UK is part of that global supply. And where we can, we would try to build-in excellent security from the start, protecting the eventual users of the tech, but also helping to protect early-stage science and technology from hostile intent.

And for everything else in my pyramid, we can use our economic clout to maximise consumer benefit and to make sure the tech is safe for all users.

Now GCHQ has a role to play at each of these levels and in helping to create the favourable environment needed for tech innovation.

Ours is a business where you can never stand still. Innovation is in our DNA. Everyday we manage operational risk. We’re used to having to make big bets to make the next breakthrough. Through our access, analysis and brilliant people, we combine a unique view of global threats with a deep understanding of technology that can help shape policy and provide advice on big decisions.

We recognise that securing the digital homeland has to be a team effort. Through the NCSC, we help companies, institutions and individuals to develop the knowledge they need to be cyber secure. By making the UK the safest place to live and do business online, we also make the UK a more attractive place to invest.

To help, we’ve grown an eco-system of over 250 companies offering Cyber Essentials assessments. This scheme encourages organisations to improve their basic cyber security and it has issued almost 65,000 certificates so far.

We also run Cyber Accelerator programmes to help start-ups get mentoring and support. It’s about encouraging new products, skills, jobs and growth. And it really works. Over 40 companies have now completed the programmes. Between them they have – created over 500 jobs; raised £100m in investment and increased their revenues by tens of millions of pounds too.

And at the harder end of the spectrum, through our partnership with the MOD, the National Cyber Force gives the country the ability to build out from this position of defensive strength by acting in cyberspace to make greater impact in the real world. Whether countering disinformation, protecting against child sexual abuse, disrupting criminals and terrorists or in supporting the military commander in a conflict, offensive cyber is simply another lever of power that can be used to eliminate threats, amplify our values and pursue our national interest.

That is not necessarily about direct action.  As General Sir Patrick Sanders has put it “the real power…is in influence, not sabotage”.

And of course, as a responsible cyber power, we use these capabilities legally and proportionately in a way that reflects our values as a democratic country. That’s what sets us apart from some of the behaviours of our adversaries.

And finally, we are working to develop the skills the nation needs for tomorrow.

Clearly, to succeed the country needs to bring on the next generation of talent and entrepreneurs from every part of the UK. And this must start young.

The hugely successful CyberFirst initiative has delivered free courses, University programmes, online learning and competitions to over 140,000 pupils.

As a result, many will now consider a career in cyber. Over 90% of CyberFirst bursary students move directly into full-time cyber security roles after graduation – that’s real impact on the talent pipeline.

There’s also a role in encouraging inclusion in the industry. We need a diverse range of people to continue to thrive in the digital era. This is just as vital as our intelligence or cyber security missions. And it’s why many of the CyberFirst schemes focus on reaching under-represented groups.

And once we have young people interested in careers in cyber, they need to be able to access quality higher education too. The NCSC now recognises 9 universities for Cyber Security. And the cyber degrees offered by 31 universities from across Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales and England have been certified as Excellent.

Academic institutions, like Imperial College and other world leading universities are nurturing this next generation of great minds and are generating ground-breaking research that will give us advantage in the future.

The Integrated Review is clear that all of this work needs to come together if we are to continue to deliver the aspiration of the UK as a great Science Power.

When we get it right, we know that the results can be exceptional. Exceptional for prosperity. Exceptional for security. And for the long-term development of national advantage.

Now I can think of many areas from my own experience where we’ve managed to find that sweet spot: from research in pure mathematics, to high performance computing, and from cyber security spin-offs to behavioural science. But we need to maintain and enhance that success.

As scientists, as technologists, as innovators, you’ll recognise these imperatives and know you can contribute to this discussion in the security and the defence realm.

My ask for you is that you think seriously about the ways in which you can help all this come together. Whether it’s cyber security, AI, quantum computing or the next big innovation we haven’t even thought of yet, I’m sure you’ll agree, the potential is huge.


So, in conclusion, as the digital world evolves and powers shift, it is completely clear to me that the next epoch will be defined by those who grab the innovation initiative and succeed in promoting their values.

That won’t be easy: it will take effort, it will involve change, it needs investment. There will be hard decisions and balances to make.

But the prize is high: if we get it right, the UK and our Allies will be influential in standards making and development. Coalitions of interest will be formed to protect diverse supply chains and interoperability. And the UK will be a leading voice in the international debate about the links between geopolitics and tech.

If we get it right, the UK will broaden and deepen the global dialogue around solutions to global problems, backed by the credibility of technical excellence and a genuinely world-class domestic legal framework.

We will be seen as a country that supports academia and industry to play their part. Careers in cyber and tech will be within reach to all and we will welcome the next generation of talent from every corner of the four nations of the UK.

If we get it right, new policies, informed by deep expertise, will influence and shape markets – protecting and growing the most critical technologies. Government will create new markets, focusing investment on the sectors and technologies that are best for the UK. The country will support the growth of a diverse set of companies that can provide these technologies, and that continue to work in accordance with our values. We will be working with other like-minded nations to pool resources and knowledge to target those global “moon-shots”.

Taken together this adds up to a plan for the creation of a strategic advantage for the UK and our allies based on the rule of law, shared ethics, and common-good.

It’s a whole of Society challenge. And in GCHQ we stand ready to play our part.

Thank you.

GCHQ © Crown Copyright 2021


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