News story

Centre for Defence Enterprise runs £10 million ‘Defence Growth Partnership Innovation Challenge’

CDE is running a series of SBRI themed competitions in association with the Defence Growth Partnership’s (DGP) UK Defence Solutions Centre.

A Royal Air Force Reaper Remotely Piloted Air System at Kandahar Airfield in Afghanistan.

The £10 million Ministry of Defence (MOD)-funded ‘DGP Innovation Challenge’ was announced at the opening of DGP’s UK Defence Solutions Centre (UKDSC) in March 2015.

The MOD’s Centre for Defence Enterprise (CDE) will be the mechanism to run the series of 4 SBRI themed competitions against which industry and academia can submit their innovative ideas and bid for funding.

The first 2 themed competitions are on the subjects of training (closes on 4 August 2015) and persistent surveillance (closes on 6 August 2015). These are open now and were briefed at a networking event on 8 July 2015 in London. Proposals must be submitted by 5pm on the closing dates shown using the CDE online portal.

Centre for Defence Enterprise themed competitions with the UK Defence Solutions Centre

Competition winners for these first competitions will be announced in September 2015.

UKDSC is an independent body, bringing together representatives from large companies in the defence industry in a collaborative space to address export opportunities. UKDSC staff are seconded from the defence industry and operate under a MOD and industry non-disclosure agreement (PDF, 92.6KB, 6 pages) to protect the intellectual property of bidders.

Richard Brooks, Delivery Director at the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl), says:

UKDSC, working closely with Dstl, has identified themes where significant challenges exist for defence and there are attractive future export markets. The competitions are looking for innovative proof-of-concept research proposals for solutions against these themes.

Jim Pennycook, Head of Operations at CDE, says:

Our association with UKDSC will provide successful bidders from these competitions with a unique opportunity to explore potential exploitation routes for their technologies with the UK defence industry.

Collaboration between bidders will be encouraged. Each competition will have up to £2.5 million available over 2 phases; up to £1 million for phase 1 with at least £1.25 million for phase 2. Phase-2 funding will be available to the most successful projects from phase 1 and collaboration will be encouraged.

A further 2 competitions will be announced later this year.


About CDE

CDE funds novel, high-risk, high-potential-benefit research. We work with the broadest possible range of science and technology providers, including academia and small companies, to develop cost-effective capabilities for UK armed forces and national security.

CDE is part of Dstl.

About DGP

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.

Centre for Defence Enterprise

Building R103
Fermi Avenue

Harwell Oxford
OX11 0QX

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Published 12 June 2015
Last updated 31 July 2015 + show all updates
  1. Copy of non-disclosure agreement added between UK Defence Solutions Centre and the Centre for Defence Enterprise.
  2. Video summary for competitions 1 and 2 added: persistent surveillance from the air, and agile, immersive mission training.
  3. First published.