in Defence

Defence innovation gets £16m boost

Posted 27 July 2022

A £16 million UK programme to boost small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) defence innovation - the Defence Technology Exploitation Programme (DTEP) - has been launched today.

Courtesy DASA

The Defence Technology Exploitation Programme (DTEP) is a £16 million programme to boost small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) defence innovation, delivered by the Ministry of Defence’s Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA), working with Innovate UK.

With the innovation of SMEs, the resources of big suppliers and initial funding from government, DTEP is designed to bring the key components together to allow pioneering projects to flourish.

The aim is to keep the UK at the forefront of defence technology, improving the capabilities available to our armed forces and providing some of these to the global market.

Working with Innovate UK
The programme is delivered by the Ministry of Defence’s Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA), working with Innovate UK and DASA is a key partner in Innovate UK’s plan for action.

Individual grants of up to 50% of a project’s value – to a maximum of £500,000 per grant - will be available through DTEP for collaborative projects between SMEs and larger suppliers, supporting the integration of novel technologies, materials and processes into MoD’s supply chains.

DTEP will be open for proposals year-round, with cycles closing at three-month intervals for assessment of submissions.

Defence Minister Jeremy Quin said: "Innovation within defence is crucial to maintaining competitive advantage for our Armed Forces.

"The Defence Technology Exploitation Programme is a positive step in how we support SMEs and larger suppliers to work together to improve the resilience and competitiveness of the MoD’s supply chain."

Today’s launch builds upon the successful BEIS-funded National Aerospace Technology Exploitation Programme (NATEP) and a pilot of DTEP conducted with Invest Northern Ireland (Invest NI). An example of work supported by this pilot is CCP Gransden, based near Ballygowan, collaborating with Thales and Ulster University on a project to replace the Starstreak surface-to-air missile system’s metallic canister with a composite version – reducing reliance on global supply chains for the over 50 components currently needed.

Head of the Defence and Security Accelerator, Anita Friend said: "DTEP has been designed to help SMEs join defence supply chains and offers SMEs and larger suppliers the opportunity to come together to solve defence problems.

"For an SME, DTEP offers not only funding but also the opportunity to deliver new innovations into the UK defence supply chain and a way to develop and scale up their business. DTEP is also beneficial for larger companies, offering early access to new technologies or processes that they may be able to help commercialise."

DTEP builds on the success of the National Aerospace Technology Exploitation (NATEP) programme managed by ADS in partnership with the Farnborough Aerospace Consortium (FAC).

ADS Chief Executive, Kevin Craven said: “DTEP is a crucial step forward in enabling SMEs to fulfil their potential and be part of larger projects and their participation in these projects adds value, not only through strengthening supply chains but also through the innovation many SMEs bring.

“UK Defence sector turnover has increased 14% over the last five years and DTEP will assist in continuing to strengthen the UK defence industry.”

Applications to DTEP can be made by UK-based SMEs looking to form a collaboration with a UK-based higher-tier supplier to help integrate and take the novel solution to market. The key areas of interest for proposals are set out in detail on the DTEP portal and are aligned with the recently published Defence Capability Framework.

DASA DTEP Business Relationship Managers will be available at all steps of the process, from project formation until after project completion. They will support SMEs through signposting, mentoring and offering other support services.

DTEP will be delivered by DASA and Innovate UK group and it is a core commitment in the Defence and Security Industrial Strategy and SME Action Plan.

The grants will support the integration of novel technologies, materials and processes into defence supply chains.

To access the DTEP portal:




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