DASA’s 245 innovation fast-tracks and £42m boost to business makes for record year


The Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) fast-tracked 245 innovative technologies and novel solutions while investing £42.8 million in start-ups, small and medium-sized businesses, industry, and academia over the past 12 months.

DASA assessed more than three proposals a day (1,172) from innovators during 2019/2020 with 55% of all contracts awarded to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), according to its third annual review published today.

The review shows that DASA helped give business and investment coaching to 15 companies that pitched for private sector investment of more than £40m.

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The document also identifies key lessons learnt from the year and what next steps DASA will take.

The annual review highlights several case studies of projects funded through DASA that are already achieving impact, including in autonomous systems, swarm drones, and data.

Head of DASA, Anita Friend, said: “The threats faced by the United Kingdom and our allies continue to be complex and are intensifying and evolving at a relentless pace.

“Events over the last 12 months highlight the essential need for novel and innovative approaches if we are to maintain advantage over those who wish to cause harm to our country and our people.”

Adding: “But it is perhaps the effects of the coronavirus pandemic at home that have brought sharp national focus on the critical need for innovation as we respond, recover and rebuild from this crisis to ensure the UK remains a safe and prosperous place to live.

“DASA is at the forefront of this vital effort: fast-tracking technology from a diverse range of sources outside of Government to unlock new and enhanced capabilities while investing in brilliant and inventive small and medium-sized businesses and entrepreneurs who are the lifeblood of our economy. That is why I am so proud of everything our team has achieved.”

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Alex Douglas

The author Alex Douglas

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