Press release: Winners announced for Defence Growth Partnership Innovation Challenge

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  1. In 2015, the Centre for Defence Enterprise (CDE) (part of the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory) ran a series of SBRI themed competitions against which industry and academia submitted their innovative ideas. The first of these competitions were on the subjects of agile and immersive training and persistent surveillance.

    Organisations successful in these 2 competitions had the opportunity to bid for further funding to take their ideas forward. CDE, together with the UK Defence Solutions Centre (UKDSC), helped to form new relationships and encouraged collaborations that will be useful for future exploitation of the outputs.

    For the agile, immersive mission training competition, follow-on phase-2 contracts worth a total of almost £1 million have been awarded to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) Close Air Solutions Ltd and Inzpire Ltd.

    Mike Squires, Business Director, Close Air Solutions says:


    The funding and support we have received from CDE has helped us develop industry-leading technology that has enormous potential to save money and increase the effectiveness of the British armed forces. It’s fantastic news that Close Air Solutions has been selected for phase-2 funding, which really could be the making of our small business.

    In persistent surveillance, phase-2 contracts worth a total of £1.35 million have been awarded to SMEs Glyndwr Innovations Ltd and Amethyst Research Ltd, along with the University of Birmingham, and large defence company QinetiQ.

    Jim Pennycook, Head of Operations at CDE says:


    Putting follow-on funding into the CDE process and working closely with the defence industry through UKDSC means even more opportunity for our bidders and an increased likelihood of exploitation into a defence capability for MOD and UK exports. We had a difficult task to make a selection from the range of quality phase-2 proposals submitted by the phase-1 winners and it’s been great to see the success of these projects.

    See all CDE-funded contracts.

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