Go-to Defence and Security Innovation AcceleratorThe Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) is the go-to organisation in government for defence and security innovation. As well as being approached with great ideas from our networks, we actively find and fund exploitable technologies and innovations that could fulfil a capability gap and/or security challenge or perhaps improve government processes to create efficiencies in the way staff operate. We do this because we believe that by reaching out and working with others, we can make a difference in government and help to co-create solutions within our networks.We have built, and are continuing to build, a thriving innovation ecosystem by developing partnerships across the UK and internationally by integrating and liaising with innovation hubs, academia, incubators, industry clusters, primes and small businesses.We believe that integration at a local level is one of the most effective ways of accessing all areas of the UK’s burgeoning innovation communities. We do this with our team of specialist, full time innovation and technology advisers, called our ‘Innovation Partners’.Regional outreachOur team of 12 Innovation Partners (IPs) are based across the UK and provide outreach to innovators in all sectors in their region. Their role is to engage with their innovation ecosystem to stimulate their regional networks and proactively seek relevant and interesting innovation opportunities for defence and security. They also support businesses to grow and be successful, contributing to the local economy and UK prosperity.Our IPs can gauge and generate innovation interest within their region’s marketplace. And the IPs work closely together as a virtual team, matching synergies within projects and putting their contacts in touch with each other. Their ability to gather and share market intelligence is central to ensuring that our competition calls attract the right companies to come forward with their ideas and apply for appropriate funding.Collectively our IPs bring an unparalleled depth of experience as they are recruited from a range of specialist backgrounds. The team is comprised of professionals with a unique and complementary skill set that includes material science knowledge, CBR experience, software, cyber defence, radar and military expertise.DASA has the ability to reach out across government, military services, and organisations such as police forces. The IP team is therefore able to seek appropriate applications for novel innovations in the relevant department, for example the Ministry of Defence, Department for Transport, Home Office, or Police. It is essential to successful innovation that the idea or product has an end user and is considered exploitable. The IPs collectively have cross-government knowledge of defence and security challenges so that different government departments can work together on their shared goals, for greater efficiency and effectiveness.North East – new positionAnna Taylor is appointed our very first DASA IP for the North East – The North East being from the Scottish borders to Hull and all places in-between.Anna is a self-professed, native Northerner; she has spent the last 15 years working for RTC North, a business support and technology transfer organisation. One of her clients was the NHS where she developed innovation, identifying and promoting transferrable technology and licensing intellectual property for wider market development. Anna was also responsible for delivering business support to local companies, advising companies on their IP, commercialisation, as well as their market potential.Anna is getting stuck straight into promoting the work of DASA, integrating in networks and scoping the region for innovations. Anna says: I was drawn to the DASA model as it spans such a wide range of government end users, and enables successful applicants to de risk relevant research and development projects. You can find DASA next in the north east at www.xrtgo.com.DASA benefitsDASA can unlock innovation potential by offering a unique set of benefits to the innovator: We do not take any of the Innovators’ Intellectual Property or equity We provide 100% funding – with no expectation on the Innovator to provide matched funding We can provide access to un-paralleled expert government advice Developing novel ideas to fill capability gapsTechnology is developing so rapidly that we need to harness the latest thinking and capabilities of innovators and match them to end users as quickly as possible. Our IPs are quick to link innovators to potential customers in UK Defence and Security sectors.The £1m development of a new generation of pioneering British deployable satellite antennas has been made possible by one of our IPs. The IP met Oxford Space Systems at an event. This led to the IP reaching back into government to identify a customer and an application for the innovation, which created the stimulus to establish a cross government partnership. Additionally, the project will actively contribute to UK prosperity by creating jobs and increasing export opportunities.We are passionate about investing in UK companies, growing their innovation and success. We want our suppliers to thrive and to contribute to UK prosperity. All our IPs are continually mindful of the support that small businesses require to develop their innovations and to bring them to market.To get in touch with an Innovation Partner, email [email protected]uk.