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The Ministry of Defence (MOD) is encouraging small and big businesses to team up to develop innovative ideas for the defence and security of the UK. A Marketplace event has been hosted in London by the Centre for Defence Enterprise (CDE), part of the MOD’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl).
Inova was invited to exhibit and present at the event following the success of CDE funded contracts, and attracted interest from defence primes and Philips Dunne MP.
Opening the event, Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology, Philip Dunne, said:
“CDE funds research into novel, high-risk, high-potential-benefit innovations. This marketplace event aims to get those industry and academic partners who’ve received funding to offer up their ideas and technology to possible investors interested in the defence and security supply chain to help bring them to market.”
More than 20 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) backed by CDE had the opportunity to pitch their ideas and early stage products at the Marketplace event to some of the world’s biggest defence companies and investors. Ideas ranged from ways to combat the cyber insider threat to casualty care on the battlefield.
Among those exhibiting was Inova Design Solutions Ltd from Guildford, demonstrating medical monitoring technology to support injured troops on the frontline. The Guildford and London-based company is developing a non-invasive way of continuously monitoring a patient’s core body temperature.
Inova’s Chief Executive Officer and Founder, Leon Marsh, says they have already received support from private investor group SETsquared, and agreed an initial contract for a proof-of-concept prototype to show how this could be done alongside existing military equipment. The prototype is now being further developed for field trials and commercialisation. Inova have also embarked on a second project, to build upon this platform technology and look at ways to measure additional vital signs, including heart rate. Marsh said:
“The funding and support from two CDE contracts has helped us to prove the technical feasibility of our proprietary technology, and establish confirmation of its need by the defence community. This, in turn, is enabling us to raise additional funds and begin commercialising the technology.”
Simon Bond, SETsquared Innovation Director, says:
“I was pleased to attend and support the Marketplace event. We specialise in growing high-tech start-ups through our incubation programme and other business acceleration services, so it was great to see so many innovative small companies here today. I’m keen to see more successful CDE-funded companies, like Inova, take advantage of the mentoring and access to investors and industry experts that SETsquared can offer.”
Since CDE was established in 2008 it has received almost 5500 research proposals and funded over 900 of these to a value of £55 million. Around 70% of CDE-funded contracts have gone to SMEs and innovators in academia.
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