A £16 million programme to boost small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) defence innovation has been launched by the UK government.

The new Defence Technology Exploitation Programme (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 the country’s armed forces, the competitiveness of UK industry and growing potential exports benefits.

Individual grants of up to 50 per cent 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.

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

Maintaining competitive advantage

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.”

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.”

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