Announced as part of the Defence Innovation Initiative, the Defence and Security Accelerator is officially launched today.
Devised as a conduit for collaboration between industry, government defence and security departments, academia, and allies, the Accelerator will allow the rapid development of innovative solutions to the most pressing security challenges.
The Accelerator has been developed following consultation with more than 500 people from industry and academia, ensuring that everyone is happy with the process of generating ideas.
The consultation highlighted the success of the Centre for Defence Enterprise, which has seen over 1,000 contracts placed in its eight years. Some 43% with SMEs, 29% with industry and 28% with academia. Building on this strong starting point, the CDE will now transition into the Accelerator, continuing its work to help suppliers onto the defence supply chain and developing innovative solutions.
As with the CDE, the Accelerator is designed to work closely with suppliers from concept through to development, helping to deliver innovation and value.
The first competition launched under the Accelerator is delivery of the Single Defence Challenge, which is designed to provide a solutions defence in the information age. This will be followed in early 2017, with the launch of the Accelerator Enduring Challenge which looks for solutions to defence’s on-going requirements.
Acting Head of the Accelerator, Rob Solly said: “Over the coming year, we will be adding new capabilities to the Accelerator, including new ways to collaborate and increasing our team of innovation partners. The upcoming challenges allow us to develop and demonstrate new ways we can support the uptake of innovative technologies and processes that provide advantage to national security, whilst also benefitting UK prosperity.”
Launching the Accelerator today, Minister for Defence Procurement Harriett Baldwin said: “The Defence Innovation Initiative and £800M Defence Innovation Fund aim to encourage imagination, ingenuity and entrepreneurship, in pursuit of maintaining a military advantage in the future.
“This Innovation Challenge calls for innovators to develop new technologies to improve the UK’s ability to analyse and exploit data in order to inform decision-making.
“With a rising Defence budget, and a £178 billion equipment plan, our commitment to collaboration will deliver a safer and more prosperous Britain.”
Future competitions and announcements can be found on the Accelerator website.
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