02 Nov 2017

Defence Minister launches new Science and Technology Strategy

Defence Minister Harriett Baldwin has launched a new Science and Technology Strategy to counter evolving threats and adapt to rapidly changing technology.

The new Science and Technology Strategy will be led by the MOD’s Chief Scientific Adviser Hugh Durrant-Whyte, who joined this year following a career at the forefront of the robotics sector in Australia.

The Defence Minister made the announcement while visiting Small and Medium-Sized businesses (SMEs) in Birmingham at EEF’s brand new facility in the West Midlands.

By setting out specific research areas and capability priorities such as autonomy, cyber and sensor technology, it is envisaged the strategy will encourage defence to be even more responsive to emerging opportunities and threats, whilst promoting more innovation and collaboration with suppliers.

Last year saw the department’s direct spend with smaller business increase by over 10%. Many have benefitted from the MOD’s £800 million Innovation Fund, with the department committed to spend 1.2% of its rising defence budget on science and technology.

The Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) is one way the finances are channelled, harnessing innovative ideas to give the UK a strategic advantage in Defence and Security through themed competitions and an ‘Open Call’ for Innovation.

Since its launch, the DASA has assessed nearly 700 proposals from almost 400 organisations and has successfully awarded its defence portion of the ‘Open Call’ budget for this year.

Defence Minister Harriett Baldwin said: “This new strategy puts world-beating science and technology right at the core of our Armed Forces. Investing millions into innovative ideas from dynamic British companies will help us defend the country in the face of intensifying threats and keep us ahead of the curve.”

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