The Ministry of Defence's very own 'Dragon's Den' has received its 1,000th equipment proposal as defence researchers share their ideas to help frontline troops.
The Centre for Defence Enterprise (CDE) was set up 18 months ago to harness and fun cutting-edge ideas that could be used in defence.
So far over 150 proposals have been given research funding from the Centre for Defence Enterprise, with more than 60 per cent of those funded coming from small and medium-sized enterprises.
Projects that have benefited from CDE funding include:
The C-THRU software plug-in overcomes many of the operational obstacles and technical issues encountered with modern tactical communications networks. Dropped into a network, C-Thru establishes network connections and maintains them irrespective of changes in the network environment. It does this by constantly being aware of the network environment and intelligently ‘adapting’ itself to keep open the best connection. For example, if a wireless connection is lost due to mountainous terrain. C-THRU will seamlessly failover to a different network type or connection method. It also priorities traffic so that urgent communications always get through
* D30 Labs, based in Hove - awarded £96,000 to develop its shock absorbing material for troops' helmet lining.
* Bubblephone, based at the Innovation Centre of the University of Sussex - awarded £49,000 for its C-THRU technology. The technology establishes and maintains network connections irrespective of environmental changes by being aware of the environment and adapting itself to ensure the best signal is kept. It also priorities communication traffic so urgent messages always get through. It could be in use with future Bowman Communications Systems.
* Pneumacare, based in Duxford, Cambridgeshire - awarded £48,000 for proof of concept research into video-analysis technology to monitor lung function in a non-invasive way during the casualty's transportation. The initial CDE contract allowed the company to attract seven times the contract value in private investment.
Minister for Science, Defence Acquisition and Reform, Lord Drayson, said:
"The Centre for Defence Enterprise has proved to be a great success. Innovation is the key to our success on the battlefield. We need to embrace novel, technologically-advanced ideas to provide our forces - both now and in the future - with the very best kit.
"Threats to our troops are always evolving and we need to exploit new and emerging technologies that are already being researched and used by small and medium-sized businesses, talented individuals and academia."
Head of the Centre for Defence Enterprise, Dr Helen Almey, said:
"The very fact we have received our 1,000th research proposal demonstrates how well the Centre for Defence Enterprise has been embraced by small and medium companies looking to win defence contracts.
"Our task is to anticipate, prepare for and meet the forthcoming challenges by being highly innovative, agile and flexible in our approach to defence science and technology. We can only do this by actively seeking novel and exciting ideas and contributions from across industry, academia and other enterprises."
Proposals to the Centre for Defence Enterprise are submitted electronically through www.science.mod.uk.
Notes to Editors:
1. For further information and pictures contact Sonia Marshall at the MOD Press Office on 0207 218 3258 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
2. The Centre for Defence Enterprise is based in Harwell, Oxfordshire, where seminars are held for potential suppliers of new technology in a variety of different fields.
3. The Centre for Defence Enterprise also goes on tour with a number of regional events held around the UK to talk to suppliers who are unable to travel to Oxfordshire.
4. One-to-One surgeries are also available to enable staff at the CDE to have in-depth discussions on proposals and ideas to improve understanding and access to the Ministry of Defence to people who would not normally interact with defence.
Phone: For enquiries please contact the above department