Launch of innovative new defense program backed by £16m

  • Keeping the UK at the forefront of defense technology
  • Join innovations and up to 50% public funding with major vendors
  • Grants of up to £500,000 available per project

With innovation from SMEs, resources from large vendors and seed funding from government, the Defense Technology Exploitation Program (DTEP) is designed to bring together the key elements to allow pioneering projects to thrive.

The aim is to keep the UK at the forefront of defense technology, improve the capabilities available to our armed forces, the competitiveness of UK industry and increase the potential benefits of exports.

Individual grants of up to 50% of a project’s value – up to a maximum of £500,000 per grant – will be available through the DTEP for collaborative projects between SMEs and larger suppliers, supporting the integration of new technologies, materials and processes into MOD supply chains.

The DTEP will be open to proposals all year round, with cycles closing every 3 months for the evaluation of submissions.

Defense Minister Jeremy Quin said:

Defense innovation is critical to maintaining the competitive edge of our armed forces.

The Defense Technology Exploitation program is a positive step in how we are helping SMEs and large suppliers work together to improve the resilience and competitiveness of the MOD supply chain.

Today’s launch builds on the BEIS-funded National Aerospace Technology Exploitation Program (NATEP) and a DTEP pilot project with Invest Northern Ireland (Invest NI). An example of work supported by this pilot project is CCP Gransden, based near Ballygowan, working with Thales and the University of Ulster on a project to replace the metal canister of the Starstreak surface-to-air missile system with a composite version – reducing reliance on global supply chains for the more than 50 components currently needed.

Anita Friend, Head of Defense and Security Accelerator, said:

The DTEP was designed to help SMEs join defense supply chains and provides opportunities for SMEs and large suppliers to come together to solve defense problems.

For an SME, the DTEP not only offers funding, but also the opportunity to deliver new innovations in the UK defense supply chain and a means to grow and grow their business. The DTEP is also beneficial for larger companies, providing early access to new technologies or processes that they can help bring to market.

Applications for the DTEP can be made by UK-based SMEs looking to form a collaboration with a UK-based next-tier supplier to help integrate and bring the new solution to market. The main areas of interest for proposals are detailed on the DTEP portal and are aligned with the recently released Defense Capabilities Framework.

DASA DTEP’s Business Relationship Managers will be available at all stages of the process, from project formation to project completion. They will support SMEs through orientation, mentoring and other support services.

The DTEP will be implemented by MOD’s Defense and Security Accelerator (DASA), in partnership with the Innovate UK group, and is a central commitment of the Defense and Security Industrial Strategy and the action plan for SMEs.


  • The DTEP page can be accessed here:

  • The specific focus areas follow the MOD’s enduring capacity challenges. You can find more information under Defense Abilities here.

  • More details about the CCP Gransden, Thales and Ulster University program can be found here.

  • Innovate UK is the UK’s innovation agency. The Innovate UK group is an ecosystem of expertise, funding and powerful connections that drive value through innovation. Innovate UK and Innovate UK KTN work closely with the MOD and DASA on the delivery of the DTEP programme.

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