Press release: Ploughshare successes continue to support UK prosperity


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Ploughshare Innovations, the technology commercialisation arm of the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl), is pleased to announce an increasing number of growth and economic benefits it has provided to the UK economy, including the creation of hundreds of jobs and multi-million pound export deals.

The latest report, commissioned by Ploughshare and conducted by independent economics consultancy SQW, shows an increase in the benefits Ploughshare has delivered since the previously published report in 2015.

The economic impacts include:

  • The creation of a maximum of 585 jobs, an increase of 85
  • An increase of 70% in exports from £44 million to £75 million
  • £118 million Gross Value Added (GVA), a measure of goods and services produced, increased by £53 million
  • Spin-out companies have attracted £140 million investment, an increase of £10 million

In addition to quantitative contributions, Ploughshare’s activities have also provided wider qualitative benefits to both industry and society.

The commercialisation of technologies has contributed to the development of new products for the Ministry of Defence (MOD), including advanced vehicle armour, electronic warfare software, and bio and chemical threat detection. In addition to improving UK capability, this also supports UK supply chains. For example, 85% of the suppliers for the vehicle armour product worldwide are UK-based. Beyond defence, notable applications include portable diagnostic devices to detect viruses, which were trialled in Sierra Leone to support those affected by Ebola.

James Kirby, CEO of Ploughshare Innovations commented:

This latest report again demonstrates the success that Ploughshare has become. By commercialising the best Intellectual Property (IP) created at Dstl we maximise their investment in technology research and provide wider benefits to both humanity and the UK’s prosperity and security.

Graham Farnsworth, Head of IP Group at Dstl added:

Our collaboration with Ploughshare is providing amazing opportunities to develop our technology for wider applications. It also provides our scientists with personal and professional benefits by being involved in the commercialisation process which in turn has a positive impact on the whole IP creation process.

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