About us

What we do

The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) ensures that innovative science and technology contribute to the defence and security of the UK.

We supply specialist services to the Ministry of Defence (MOD) and wider government. 60% of MOD’s science and technology programme (total funding: £410 million) is supplied by our external partners in industry and academia worldwide.

Who we are

As a trading fund of MOD, Dstl is run along commercial lines. It is one of the principal government organisations dedicated to science and technology in the defence and security field.

Our Centre for Defence Enterprise (CDE) is the point of contact for suppliers with innovative ideas to bid for proof-of-concept research funding.

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

Our locations


Porton Down

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

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Defence Science and Technology Laboratory Portsdown West

Portsdown Hill Road,

PO17 6AD

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Defence Science and Technology Laboratory Fort Halstead


TN14 7BP (Alternative postcodes for some sat-nav systems: TN14 7BT or TN14 7BX)

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Defence Science and Technology Laboratory Alverstoke

Crescent Road

PO12 2DL

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Centre for Defence Enterprise

Building R103
Fermi Avenue

Harwell Oxford
OX11 0QX

Open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm. Please email for the quickest response.

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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

Our priorities

We help MOD to implement the recommendations in the National Security Strategy and the Strategic Defence and Security Review, 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

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.

Corporate information

Access our information

Corporate reports