Twitter Facebook Google RSS
Global Defense 

United Kingdom Creating Defense Innovation Cell 


Yasmin Tadjdeh 

The United Kingdom is investing more than $1 billion to fund cutting edge defense technology, said the country’s secretary of state for defense.

“At a time of growing threats — nuclear, conventional, state-based or terrorist — the United Kingdom is stepping up with bigger and stronger defense,” said Michael Fallon. “We are increasing our defense budget. We are increasing the size and power of our armed forces so that we can do more to protect our security. And in so doing, we aim to become an even stronger partner of our most steadfast ally, the United States.”

The United Kingdom will put $1.5 billion into an innovation fund that will help it secure an operational advantage in the future, he said during a December speech at the Atlantic Council, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank.

Taking a page out of the United States’ book, the country wants to create its own version of the Defense Innovation Unit - Experimental, he said. U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter established DIUx in 2015 to better tap into the work being done in Silicon Valley.

“We will be launching our Emerging Technology and Innovation Analysis Cell to help identify game changing technologies. We are setting up a new center to pool the intelligence of the best brains in British business, academia and the public sector,” Fallon said.

The U.K. government — currently being led by the Conservative Party — has pledged to spend 2 percent of its GDP on defense. Over the next decade, it intends to allocate more than $265 billion to new equipment, he said.

The country wants to work more closely with the United States on defense innovation, he noted. The United Kingdom plans to tighten links between the two nations and work together on emerging technology demonstrators, participate in joint war games to test ideas and adapt new operating concepts, Fallon said.

“We want to learn from you and to collaborate more with you,” he said. “I’ve been impressed by the way in which you’ve been able to tap into some of the fizz, if I can call it that, of the smaller high-tech companies and bring their applications to bear on defense solutions.”

Traditionally, when the United Kingdom needs a new piece of equipment, be it an airplane or a frigate, it sends out a request for proposals to industry, Fallon said. “What we’ve not said to our high-tech center is, ‘You come and tell us what solutions you’ve got for some of the challenges, some of the technologies that our adversaries are employing.’”

The nation also plans to make more investments in small businesses, he noted. It intends to spend 25 percent of its defense dollars on small- to medium-sized companies to “try and attract more of this brain power into defense,” he said.

The United Kingdom plans to work with organizations such as Glasgow University, the University of Strathclyde, Amethyst Research and Helia Photonics, all of which are based in Scotland, a Ministry of Defence statement said.

The ministry said more details about the innovation center and other technology initiatives would be available later in 2016.

Photo Credit: Defense Dept.

Submit Your Reader's Comment Below
The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
Please enter the text displayed in the image.
The picture contains 6 characters.
*Legal Notice

NDIA is not responsible for screening, policing, editing, or monitoring your or another user's postings and encourages all of its users to use reasonable discretion and caution in evaluating or reviewing any posting. Moreover, and except as provided below with respect to NDIA's right and ability to delete or remove a posting (or any part thereof), NDIA does not endorse, oppose, or edit any opinion or information provided by you or another user and does not make any representation with respect to, nor does it endorse the accuracy, completeness, timeliness, or reliability of any advice, opinion, statement, or other material displayed, uploaded, or distributed by you or any other user. Nevertheless, NDIA reserves the right to delete or take other action with respect to postings (or parts thereof) that NDIA believes in good faith violate this Legal Notice and/or are potentially harmful or unlawful. If you violate this Legal Notice, NDIA may, in its sole discretion, delete the unacceptable content from your posting, remove or delete the posting in its entirety, issue you a warning, and/or terminate your use of the NDIA site. Moreover, it is a policy of NDIA to take appropriate actions under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and other applicable intellectual property laws. If you become aware of postings that violate these rules regarding acceptable behavior or content, you may contact NDIA at 703.522.1820.

  Bookmark and Share