This week, £10 million in funding has been awarded to the winners of the MOD and Defence Growth Partnership (DGP) Innovation Challenge by Minister for Defence Procurement Stuart Andrew.
The Defence and Security Accelerator, in tandem with the Defence Solutions Centre, established the competition in 2012 to explore and develop solutions to ensure the UK’s armed forces stay ahead of adversaries by finding more efficient methods of communication, logistics, protection, intelligence and training. The joint approach aims to create high quality UK jobs, boost defence exports and encourage collaboration between large industry, SMEs and academia. Industry has matched the initial investment and since the original award, the competition has received an additional £4 million. This is part of the wider £800 million Defence Innovation Fund.
This week’s event brought together leading industry and military figures from the defence equipment community. The winning innovations ranged across future information capability priorities including autonomy and big data. The successful companies will receive combined investment and support worth over £4 million from the MOD and £6 million from industry partners to ensure their technologies are developed fully.
The winning solutions which were announced at the event include:
- Close Air Solutions with Project Hyper Real Immersion
- QinetiQ’s Software Defined Multifunction LIDAR
- Horiba Mira’s UGV Localisation and Perception using Deep Learning Neural Networks
- Polaris’ Ants on Deck
Minister for Defence Procurment Stuart Andrew said:
“From shrewd navigation software, A.I. driven autonomous vehicles, laser radar to mixed reality training systems, today’s winners are a clear demonstration of industry rising to meet the complex challenges of modern warfare. The MOD, working with commercial partners, will see these pioneering technologies go from the drawing board to the battlefield.”
Co-chair of the Defence Growth Partnership, Allan Cook CBE, said:
“The innovative solutions developed by our own defence companies over the course of the Innovation Challenge is amazing. Using autonomy and big data these winning companies have found unique solutions to the ongoing challenges we face in the defence sector.
The winners of the DGP’s Innovation Challenge Final Phase have proven that their products are fundamentally important to the growth and prosperity of their companies. This final funding for the winners will enable them to complete their development and ultimately provide essential solutions in a dynamic, international and competitive market. Their success will benefit the defence sector in the UK and help us win more business in export markets.”