Woodbridge-based analytics specialist Chorus wins contest to help tackle modern slavery and human trafficking

From left, Colm O�Neill of BT, Richard Helson and Joe Southgate of Chorus, Caroline Barker from th

From left, Colm O�Neill of BT, Richard Helson and Joe Southgate of Chorus, Caroline Barker from the Metropolitan Police) and Andrew Wallis of anti-trafficking organisation Unseen at the Securing the Nation event - Credit: Archant

A Suffolk company has secured a £10,000 prize in a national competition designed to help protect UK citizens and businesses against online crime.

Woodbridge-based Chorus was one of three winners in the Securing the Nation contest, run by BT, TechHub and the Cabinet Office, which involved nine finalists making Dragons’ Den-style presentations to a panel of judges at the BT Tower in London.

The competition, the latest in a series involving the BT Infinity Lab programme, was launched earlier this year to find innovative small and medium enterprises (SMEs) able to create solutions to help consumers and businesses stay safe online.

The judging panel included Mark Hughes, chief executive of BT Security, Det Supt Caroline Barker of the Metropolitan Police, Ian Levy, technical director of the National Cyber Security Centre, and Elizabeth Varley, co-founder and chief executive of TechHub, a global community for technology start-ups.

Each of the three successful business will receive a £10,000 prize, plus six months’ membership at TechHub’s London start-up space, the opportunity to network with other TechHub members and an opportunity to work with BT to explore technical and commercial partnerships to bring their solutions to market.

Cabinet Office Minister and Ipswich MP Ben Gummer said: “This Government is determined to fight the increasing threat of cyber-attacks to the UK, making our country the safest place in the world to live, work and do business online.

“That is why we are engaging with small businesses, industry and academia – to ensure that we develop the skills and research we need to tackle this growing threat.”

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Chorus, which specialises in operational intelligence and analytics, was named winner in the Data Collection, Mining and Analytics category, created to search for new ideas to combat modern slavery and human trafficking.

The company, formerly known as Create Intelligence, demonstrated a solution which uses machine learning to make connections within data from a range of different sources and create courtroom-ready reports. It is already working with the police and counter-terrorism units in the UK.

Caroline Barker from the Met Police said: “The comprehensive solution that Chorus have is already helping law enforcement experts to reduce time spent on administrative work and focus on catching criminals.

“The potential for it to make a real impact on the issue of human trafficking, by breaking down information silos between agencies, is exciting to see. It’s great that events like this one are putting technological solutions to fight modern slavery firmly on the agenda.”

Colm O’Neill, managing director, major and public sector at BT, who was also among the judges, added: “Congratulations to all the winners, who remained true to the core of this competition – offering ideas that can help to secure the nation, with the potential to reach millions of people in a short space of time.”