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SWCRC Advisory Group welcomes a triple threat in the fight against cyber criminals

We are delighted to announce the latest three members to join the SWCRC Advisory Group. The group will provide the SWCRC with guidance, advice and influence the direction of the Centre.

We welcome Paul Coles, Deputy Chair of the South West Business Council, Vince McConville, Digital Future Sector Lead at Heart of the South West LEP and Alan Blunt, Director at Suilven Management Consultants.

Mark Moore, Director of The South West Cyber Resilience Centre said: “It’s my enormous pleasure to welcome Paul, Vince and Alan to the Advisory Group for The South West Cyber Resilience Centre. Between them, they have a vast range of skills, experiences, and professional networks, and are a fantastic addition to our founding four members. I’m grateful to them for supporting such an important regional venture and am already excited by the ideas and enthusiasm that they are bringing to the table.”

Paul Coles, Deputy Chair of the South West Business Council

Paul has recently left BT after 31 years after being BT Group’s English Regional Director where he responsible for developing strategic relationships with combined and local authorities, Local Enterprise Partnerships, business, education and community organisations to focus on the success and growth of the UK’s regional and local economies.

In this new phase of his portfolio career Paul is working with a company called “Advalus” as a senior consultant in the area of technology and innovation, especially 5G, Cyber and Internet of Things.

Paul is based in the South West and sits on the following external boards:

· Deputy Chair of the South West Business Council

· Heart of the South West LEP

· Tech South West Advisory Board

· Member of the Court of Bristol University

· Board Member of Surf Life Saving GB

· South West Cyber Resilience Centre

Commenting on his appointment, Paul said “I am thrilled to be joining the advisory board of the South West Cyber Resilience Centre. Perhaps of all crimes, Cyber attacking is the fastest growing and most disruptive. The perpetrators of those crimes are ever more sophisticated and range from nation states to single individuals.

“The South West has world-leading credentials in Cyber credentials so I am focussed on how we can encourage young people into a Cyber Defence career and, most importantly, encourage businesses to join the SWCRC network and gain access to free guidance on being safe in an increasingly online world.”

Vince McConville, Digital Futures Sector Lead at the Heart of the South West LEP

Vince joined the LEP in November 2020 as the Digital Futures Sector Lead. Prior to that he ran his own Business Consultancy specialising in helping businesses with Technology Digital and Web.

Other roles have also seen Vince work as a director of a bespoke software development company and internet marketing company.

Vince is also an experienced business advisor having worked for Business Link and on various business support programmes such as Connecting Devon & Somerset, Superfast Business, and the Heart of the South West Growth Hub.

On joining the SWCRC Advisory Group, Vince said: “Being a part of the Advisory Group will help give input to the Cyber Elements of the SW regional Digital Strategy as part of the engagement with the sector.”

Alan Blunt, Director at Suilven Management Consultants

Alan has a career which spans 24 years delivering global telecommunications and defence engineering business along with 16 years working with a broad range of technology led Start-ups and not for profit organisations.

An engineer by training he has developed strategies at Board level for multiple businesses in diverse industries around the globe whilst also providing programme oversight for mergers and acquisitions, legal and financial restructures as well as international technology and market development.

He has enjoyed working with international teams of subject matter experts to ensure the application of corporate governance, business continuity and risk management whilst assuring accountability and transparency and protecting stakeholder interests.

When asked why he wanted to join the SWCRC Advisory Group, Alan said: “The role of the CRC in raising cyber security awareness and capability is crucial to the SW’s regional economic and social development.

“With some of the UK’s key sector players alongside the major national expertise hubs, the SWCRC have an exciting opportunity to aid and grow both local and national capability. Exciting times for the region and SWCRC.”


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