Innovation in the Defence Supply Chain

We want to encourage innovation in our business and attract new and non-traditional suppliers in to all levels of the defence supply chain.    Our military customers have put innovation high on their agenda and we expect this to be reflected in their future requirements.  SDSR 2015 identified innovation as a central theme reflecting the changing global security and technology landscape.  Technology is creating both threats to and opportunities for the UK’s security and prosperity and innovation is vital to maintaining our military advantage.

We have set up a new Innovation Fund (£800M over 10 years) to encourage better collaboration with industry, academia and allies, and target new providers to boost the competitive advantage of UK defence and find answers to our most pressing national security questions from across sectors at pace.

Royal Air Force Innovation Pipeline Process

The Air Command Innovation Pipeline Process has been established to remove barriers to entering the Defence sector. In particular it offers a route for Small and Medium Enterprises to pitch their ideas and products direct to key decision makers in the RAF.

The process demonstrates the RAF’s commitment to reach beyond its traditional supply base and keep pace with new ideas, research and technological developments, some of which may never have been designed with a Defence application in mind.

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Related organisations

The Defence and Security Accelerator

The Defence and Security Accelerator, which forms part of the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL), focuses on innovations which can provide advantage to defence and national security to protect the UK from its adversaries. It funds the development of suppliers’ innovative ideas and provides support through to potential application. The Accelerator will also fund innovations for defence and security which support economic growth and prosperity in the UK.

Read more about the Accelerator

The Defence Growth Partnership

The Defence Growth Partnership is a unique collaboration between UK government and leading companies from the UK defence industry. It has been formed to meet the challenges of increased international competition for defence business, and has created a collaborative environment to enable the UK to offer the very best solutions to defence customers, tailored to meet global customer needs, including the MOD.

Read more about the DGP

UK Defence Solutions Centre (UKDSC)

The UKDSC was established as an independent entity in 2015 and works to make the UK defence industry more successful in exports through:

  • better alignment with UK Government
  • better collaboration within the UK value chain
  • stimulating innovation and investment from a broad range of sources.

Created as part of the implementation plan for the Defence Growth Partnership (DGP) and jointly funded by government and industry, the UKDSC works closely with the Department for International Trade’s Defence & Security Organisation (DIT DSO), the UK Government, and the best of the defence industry, academia and R&D.

Read more about UKDSC

Innovate UK

Innovate UK is an executive non-departmental public body, sponsored by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS).  They work with companies to de-risk, enable and support innovation and run competitions for funding in different industry sectors, including the Small Business Research Initiative, and an open competition for applications from any sector.  They also provide ‘connecting services’ including business advice for SMEs.

Read more about Innovate UK
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