Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Defence Firms to Be Rewarded for Innovation

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Defence Firms to Be Rewarded for Innovation

Article excerpt

Businesses in the North-East which have used innovation from the defence sector to develop new products and services or have introduced innovation into defence are urged to enter the first national DDA Innovation Awards, which culminate in a major awards dinner event at the Science Museum in November.

The Defence Technology Exchange Innovation Awards as they are called, are designed to recognise and celebrate the achievements of UK innovators in transferring technologies from defence into industry and vice versa.

Prof Damien McDonnell, chief executive of the Defence Diversification Agency (DDA), said: "The UK has always been at the forefront of invention, notably from within home-grown defence research. These inventions have ensured superior capability for the armed forces.

"But what has been lacking is the wide use of these new discoveries to stimulate entrepreneurship and wealth creation in our own economy. There are many incidences of UK defence technologies being transferred successfully into different market sectors, sometimes generating multi-billion pound global markets, but the UK has not always been the initial or prime beneficiary."

The Defence Technology Exchange 2006 event is designed to encourage more entrepreneurs and ensure that inventions and technologies from defence, industry and academia are developed for mutual benefit and wealth creation within the UK economy."

The Technology Exchange Awards 2006, and the associated congress event, will be a unique opportunity for defence and civil industry from all across the UK to examine the best practice in transferring ideas and technologies into world class products and services for defence procurement.

The DDA was set up by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) in 1999 to promote the cross-flow of technology between the civil and defence sectors. Today it is the leading consulting group in demand-led technology transfer.

Its role within the MoD is unique. Acting as brokers between technology owners such as QinetiQ and Dstl, and those with technology or business requirements, its expertise is in finding leading-edge technology solutions from within defence to help businesses capitalise on commercial opportunities. …

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