The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has launched the Defence Technology Exploitation Programme (DTEP) to promote innovation in defence technology.

With £16m in funding from the government, the new project will enable small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to innovate and collaborate with major suppliers.

Funding of nearly 50% of a project’s value, with the upper limit fixed at £500,000 per grant, will be offered for joint projects between SMEs and large suppliers under the DTEP.

The UK-based higher-tier suppliers will help the SMEs integrate unique technologies, materials, and processes into the MoD’s supply chains.

Through the programme, the government seeks to enhance the capabilities of the armed forces and boost competitiveness of the local industry and potential exports benefits.

The DTEP will be delivered by the Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) and supported by the Innovate UK agency.

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By GlobalData

DASA DTEP business relationship managers will assist the SMEs at all stages of a project.

The DTEP will be open throughout the year for proposals, with cycles closing at three-month intervals applications to be assessed.

Defence and Security Accelerator head Anita Friend said: “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.”

The new programme was launched following a pilot study supported by Invest Northern Ireland and the Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial strategy (BEIS).

Under this, Ballygowan-based CCP Gransden decided to partner with Thales and Ulster University to launch a composite version that can replace Starstreak missile system’s metallic canister.

In a separate development, the UK’s Strategic Command deputy commander lieutenant general Tom Copinger-Symes signed an updated bilateral agreement with German Cyber and Information Domain Service (CIDS) commander and chief vice-admiral Dr Thomas Daum.

The agreement will allow the two organisations to upgrade cyber skills and share data through work strands.

Copinger-Symes said: “It [the partnership] brings significant opportunities to learn from each other, pool resources, and work together to strengthen the whole of Nato in this developing area of business.”