Dundee could become home to Scotland’s first cyber security hub with the creation of around 400 jobs, if a Tay Cities Deal bid is successful.
The news came as the city hosted more than 350 ethical hacking students and professionals from across Europe as part of a major cyber security conference at Abertay University.
The Securi-Tay conference was intended to showcase local talent, allowing students and potential employers to meet.
It is hoped that the proposed hub would mirror the success of the games industry in Dundee, attracting businesses and retaining talent in the city.
Ian Ferguson, senior lecturer in cyber security, said: “We put a bid into the Tay Cities deal to create a cyber quarter in Dundee.
“We are asking for around £20 million to set up a centre of expertise where academics, businesses and students can work together.
“We already know how to create a cluster from scratch, as with the games industry, and we hope that we can achieve the same with cyber security.
“Each year we have around 50 graduates in this field, and they tend to go to London or Manchester for work – it is a shocking leakage of talent.
“We want to attract businesses here and create around 400 jobs, retaining our graduates in the city.”
The Securi-Tay conference has grown from a gathering of around 20 people to the current 350, since it launched six years ago.
Key speakers at this year’s event included former Abertay student Gavin Holt, senior security consultant at Manchester-based NCC Group.
He said: “It’s fantastic to see how the conference has grown over the years and to see the high calibre of companies that it now attracts.
“This event means Abertay students have a world-class conference on their doorstep and it’s a great opportunity for them to meet key players in the industry.”
Abertay Principal Nigel Seaton said: “Cyber security is an increasingly important issue and it’s good to see another successful event at what is the UK’s only student-run conference of its type.”
The conference featured talks and workshops on topics such as malware, ransomware and attack detection as well as discussion around the hacking of mobile apps and messenger services.