The Ministry of Defence has held its first Marketplace event today to give small British businesses the chance to pitch their innovative ideas to some of the world’s biggest Defence companies.
Organised by the Ministry of Defence’s Centre for Defence Enterprise (CDE), the event gives small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) a unique opportunity to engage with big business and offer up ideas and technology that could be used by the Armed Forces in the future.
SMEs were joined at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre in London by academics and researchers from two of the country’s leading universities - University of Bristol and University of Lancaster - who also had products to pitch to industry representatives.
Among the technologies on show at the event were:
Blue Bear Systems Research Limited ‘Morphing Wing’: based on the dynamics of a bird’s wing, this is designed to enable the next generation of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) to be faster, more agile and have greater stability and duration;
Dreampact Ltd’s compact heat sensing video camera: a handheld camera that can also be mounted on a rifle to allow more effective surveillance operations in pitch darkness, bad fog, or dust.
Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology, Philip Dunne said:
“Today’s Marketplace provides a shop window for small and medium-sized enterprises in the most practical sense, helping those which have received Research and Development funding from the MOD to access their full potential for commercial applications in the UK Defence sector and the export market.
“Encouraging this technological innovation is vital to our national security and the country’s economic growth. We remain committed to providing our Armed Forces with the very best equipment available, which is why we will continue to invest over £400 million a year in science and technology.”