About us

The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) works within UK defence and security.

A proven national asset, Dstl is an executive agency of the Ministry of Defence (MOD) providing expertise and delivering cutting-edge science and technology for the benefit of the nation and allies.

Who we are

Dstl is one of the principal government organisations dedicated to science and technology in the defence and security field.

Dstl supplies specialist services to MOD and wider government, working collaboratively with external partners in industry and academia worldwide, providing expert research, specialist advice and invaluable operational support.

Our responsibilities

Our responsibilities include:

  • supplying sensitive and specialist science and technology services for MOD and wider government
  • providing and facilitating expert advice, analysis and assurance on defence procurement
  • leading on the MOD’s science and technology programme
  • understanding risks and opportunities through horizon-scanning
  • acting as a trusted interface between MOD, wider government, the private sector and academia to provide science and technology support to military operations by the UK and her allies
  • championing and developing science and technology skills across MOD
  • international work such as coordinating the UK’s involvement in NATO science and technology activity

Find out more about Dstl’s work and facilities, our programmes and projects for 2022 and beyond and our divisions.

Read a snapshot of the impactful projects we have previously delivered for UK defence and security.

Our priorities

We help MOD to implement the recommendations in the Integrated Review Refresh 2023 and the Defence Command Paper 2023, in particular to:

  • identify and monitor national security risks and opportunities
  • protect the UK and our interests at home, at our border, and internationally, in order to address physical and electronic threats from state and non-state sources

For more information about our priorities and current work, read our latest corporate plan and our latest annual report.

Who we work with

Dstl works mainly with MOD, but because of our expertise and facilities, particularly in the wider area of UK defence and security, we work across government for more than 40 government departments and agencies.

We work with our partners in industry, academia and internationally, using science and technology to help to solve defence and security issues.

We sustain and grow science and technology capabilities that must remain in government, and help develop capabilities that are managed elsewhere, for example, in industry and academia.

Find out about our relationship with MOD and how to sell to or work with Dstl.

The Defence and Security Accelerator is part of Dstl.

Our locations


Porton Down

SP4 0JQ (Alternative postcode for some sat-nav systems: SP4 0JG)

Email centralenquiries@dstl.gov.uk

Central enquiries 01980 950000

Dstl Porton Down on Google Maps

Defence Science and Technology Laboratory Portsdown West

Portsdown Hill Road,
PO17 6AD

Dstl Portsdown West on Google Maps

Defence Science and Technology Laboratory Alverstoke

Crescent Road
PO12 2DL

Dstl Alverstoke on Google Maps

Defence Science and Technology Laboratory Newcastle

The Catalyst
3 Science Square
Newcastle Helix

Dstl Newcastle on Google Maps

Our history

20 years of Dstl

Read Dstl: a full history (PDF, 117 KB, 14 pages) for a complete history of our organisation.

Corporate information

Access our information

Jobs and contracts