Defence Science and Technology Laboratory

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Defence Science and Technology Laboratory
DefenceScienceAndTechnologyLaboratory.png
Agency overview
Formed2 July 2001
Preceding agency
Jurisdiction United Kingdom
Headquarters Porton Down, Wiltshire
Employees3,738 (03/2016 FTE) [1]
Agency executive
  • Doug Umbers (interim)
Parent agency Ministry of Defence
Website www.gov.uk/dstl

The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) is an executive agency of the Ministry of Defence of the United Kingdom. Its stated purpose is "to maximise the impact of science and technology for the defence and security of the UK". [2] The agency is headed by Doug Umbers as its (interim) Chief Executive, [3] with the board being chaired by Adrian Belton. [4] Ministerial responsibility lies with the Minister for Defence Procurement.

Contents

History

Dstl was formed from the July 2001 split of the Defence Evaluation and Research Agency (DERA). Dstl was established to carry out and retain the science and technology work that is best done within government, [5] while work that could be done by industry (forming the majority of DERA's activities) was transferred to Qinetiq, a government-owned company that was later floated on the stock exchange.

Dstl absorbed the Home Office's Centre for Applied Science and Technology (CAST) in April 2018, [6] taking on CAST's role [7] to apply science and technology to support the Home Office's operations and frontline delivery, provide evidence to support policy, and perform certain regulatory functions.

Dstl was a trading fund of the MOD from its formation until 2016, when it became an executive agency of the MOD.

Organisation

Most of Dstl's funding comes from the MOD, while a small portion comes from other government departments and commercial sources. In 2016/17, 91% of Dstl's £587m income came from the MOD. [8]

In April 2015, Dstl completed a major reorganisation, merging twelve operating departments into five divisions. The motivation behind this change was to enable more coherent and productive delivery to customers and simplify access routes for suppliers. [9]

Leadership

Operations

Dstl carries out a broad range of work from high-level analysis to support Ministry of Defence policy and procurement decisions, to technical research in defence areas such as biomedical science and electronics, alongside operational work such as forensic analysis of explosives [18] and providing paid volunteer scientists to Iraq and Afghanistan to provide rapid scientific advice to British forces. It has done work for around 40 government departments and agencies including the Home Office and Department for Transport. [19] It undertakes research with both industry and academia to achieve its role. [20]

Following a review and consultation process initiated by MOD's Chief Scientific Advisor (CSA), it became responsible for the formulation and commission of MOD's non-nuclear research programme from 1 April 2010, under the responsibility of the Dstl Programme Office. [21] [22] Within the Programme Office were 16 domains [23] with some established as Science and Technology Centres, including Armour and Protection, Cyber and Influence, Counter Terrorism, and CBR (Chemical, Biological and Radiological). [24] These centres fund research via the Centre for Defence Enterprise, [25] also part of the Programme Office. [26]

A subsequent MOD CSA-led review in 2015 into MOD's science and technology capability recommended that the commissioning of science and technology should be independent of the delivery. [27] Following this, the commissioning role was moved to Defence Science and Technology (DST) within MOD Head Office, with Dstl focusing on delivery.

Within the Strategic Defence and Security Review 2015 was a proposal to create "a government-backed service designed to help small and medium-sized businesses bring new ideas to market more quickly". [28] In 2016, it was announced by Defence Secretary Michael Fallon that this 'Defence and Security Accelerator' [29] would have access to an £800m innovation fund and build on the 'Centre for Defence Enterprise' model, operating within Dstl. [30]

In 2017, Dstl began a five-year programme of innovation in space science. [31] In 2019, Dstl opened a new satellite ground control station at Portsdown West to support future space research. [32]

In March 2020, scientists from Dstl began supporting Public Health England to better understand COVID-19 during the COVID-19 pandemic in the United Kingdom. [33] By January 2021, around 300 scientists were said to be involved with COVID-19 support. [34]

R-Cloud

Research Cloud (or R-Cloud) is the Dstl's supply chain marketplace for science and technology research. [35] Version 4 went live on 1 December 2020. [36] R-Cloud frameworks cover eight "capability areas":

Locations

Current sites include:

The functions of the two former CAST sites – Sandridge and Langhurst – will be transferred to Dstl's core sites of Porton Down and Portsdown West by 2020. [40]

Sections of 150-millimetre-thick (5.9 in) pre-atomic steel plate uncontaminated with radionuclides, recovered from HMS Vanguard, were used for the shielding of the whole body monitor at the Radiobiological Research Laboratory (now Dstl) at Alverstoke, Gosport, Hampshire. [41]

Spin-offs

Ploughshare Innovations

In April 2005 [42] the technology transfer company Ploughshare Innovations Ltd was formed to manage and exploit intellectual property within Dstl. [43] Dstl and Ploughshare Innovations have successfully spun-out several new companies including Alaska Food Diagnostics [44] and P2i Ltd.

See also

Notes and references

  1. "Defence Science and Technology Laboratory annual report and accounts 2015 to 2016" (PDF).
  2. "About us". Dstl. Archived from the original on 21 October 2013. Retrieved 16 February 2014.
  3. "DSTL bids farewell to its current chief executive". Dstl. Retrieved 24 June 2021.
  4. "Dstl: membership". GOV.UK. Retrieved 10 November 2020.
  5. "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 22 February 2014. Retrieved 16 February 2014.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. "Centre for Applied Science and Technology (CAST) becomes part of Dstl". GOV.UK. Retrieved 4 May 2018.
  7. Home Office Science: Centre for Applied Science and Technology: An Introduction (PDF). United Kingdom: Home Office. 2016. pp. 3–4. ISBN   978-1-78655-083-5.
  8. "Defence Science and Technology Laboratory annual report and accounts 2016 to 2017" (PDF). Retrieved 3 May 2018.
  9. Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (22 June 2015). "Annual Report and Accounts 2014/15" (PDF).
  10. Smith, Michael (16 July 2006). "Wanted: gadget wizard to replace the real life Q". The Times. Retrieved 10 September 2020.
  11. "House of Commons – Defence – Minutes of Evidence". parliament.the-stationery-office.co.uk. 2011. Archived from the original on 29 August 2012. Retrieved 12 June 2011.
  12. "Press release: Heading up Defence Science – New Chief Executive appointed at Dstl" (PDF). dstl.gov.uk. 16 August 2007. Archived from the original (PDF) on 28 September 2011.
  13. Gilbert, Natasha (20 November 2007). "Interview: Frances Saunders | Education | The Guardian". The Guardian . London. ISSN   0261-3077. OCLC   60623878 . Retrieved 12 June 2011.
  14. Global email to all staff dated 29/6/11
  15. "Jonathan Lyle named as new Dstl Chief Executive". GOV.UK . Retrieved 16 February 2014.
  16. 1 2 "Defence Science and Technology Laboratory appoints new Chief Executive". GOV.UK. 30 November 2017. Retrieved 8 December 2017.
  17. "Gary Aitkenhead – GOV.UK". www.gov.uk. Retrieved 4 May 2018.
  18. Gardham, Duncan (11 July 2007). "'We've never seen a bomb like 21/7 devices'". The Daily Telegraph . London. ISSN   0307-1235. OCLC   49632006 . Retrieved 16 February 2014.
  19. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 21 October 2013. Retrieved 16 February 2014.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  20. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 21 October 2013. Retrieved 16 February 2014.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  21. "The Strategic Defence and Security Review and The National Security Strategy". publications.parliament.uk. 2011. Retrieved 12 June 2011.
  22. "Dstl to become the key focus of science and technology within MOD" (Press release). Ministry of Defence. 19 March 2010. Archived from the original on 26 October 2012. Retrieved 16 February 2014.
  23. National Archives (UK)
  24. "Science and Technology Centres | dstl | Defence Science and Technology Laboratory". dstl.gov.uk. Ministry of Defence. Archived from the original on 22 February 2014.
  25. "Centre for Defence Enterprise". Ministry of Defence . Retrieved 16 February 2014.
  26. "The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl)". Ministry of Defence . Retrieved 16 February 2014.
  27. "A review of MOD's science and technology capability (Executive summary)" (PDF).
  28. National Security Strategy and Strategic Defence and Security Review 2015: A Secure and Prosperous United Kingdom (PDF). HM Government. November 2015. ISBN   9781474125963.
  29. "Defence and Security Accelerator – GOV.UK". www.gov.uk. Retrieved 4 May 2018.
  30. "Defence Innovation Initiative – Speeches". www.gov.uk. Retrieved 20 September 2016.
  31. "Three...two…one…blast off! Dstl launches £50 million Space Programme". GOV.UK. 4 October 2017. Retrieved 7 February 2018.
  32. "Defence Secretary outlines future space programme". Royal Air Force. 18 July 2019. Retrieved 6 March 2021.
  33. "Military stands up COVID Support Force". GOV.UK. 19 March 2020. Retrieved 12 August 2021.
  34. "Covid-19: UK Dstl helps NHS to address vaccine related challenges". Army Technology. 18 January 2021. Retrieved 12 August 2021.
  35. Dstl, Access R-Cloud (Version 3.0), accessed 21 May 2021
  36. Dstl, Access R-Cloud (Version 4.0), accessed 21 May 2021
  37. Government Online, R-Cloud Framework Renewal – Ministry of Defence, published 6 February 2017, accessed 21 May 2021
  38. DSTL Press Release dated 17 June 2011 https://www.dstl.gov.uk/downloads/Dstl_Fort_Halstead.pdf Archived 22 February 2014 at the Wayback Machine
  39. "Building state-of-the-art facilities at Dstl". GOV.UK. 2 March 2015. Retrieved 7 February 2018.
  40. "Centre for Applied Science and Technology (CAST) becomes part of Dstl". GOV.UK. Retrieved 4 May 2018.
  41. Cowling, Giles. "From Land, Sea and Air". Defence Management Journal. 31. Archived from the original on 25 February 2012.
  42. "House of Commons – Defence – Eighth Report". publications.parliament.uk. 2007. Retrieved 12 June 2011.
  43. "Ploughshare Innovations – Intellectual Property Licensing for Dstl – Ploughshare". ploughshareinnovations.com. 2011. Retrieved 12 June 2011.
  44. Stewart, Heather (4 May 2004). "MoD tries to turn swords into shares | Business | The Guardian". The Guardian . London: GMG. ISSN   0261-3077. OCLC   60623878 . Retrieved 12 June 2011.

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