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Ploughshare Innovations turns ‘swords into ploughshares’. We convert technology research created by government organisations into civilian applications.

We enable businesses of all kinds to benefit from defence and security technologies developed by leading government laboratories including the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl), the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE plc), and others.

Benefits to Society

Ploughshare ensures UK Government technology is put to good use and maximises taxpayer-funded research.

It also endeavours to benefit the UK and society as a whole and aims to benefit humanity by applying innovative technology to improve people’s lives; drive economic growth by sharing IP and allowing companies to succeed; deliver financial returns to enable future Government investment in technology and; help to bolster UK defence and security.

Read About our Benefits to Society

Broad Portfolio

A wide range of patents, software, and know-how in the defence and security, biometrics, life sciences, and diagnostics domains are made available through Ploughshare for businesses to exploit. Click here to see technologies available to license.

Applications of the technologies vary and typically contribute back to the defence and security industries or find novel new commercial uses. Ploughshare has helped a number of organisations to improve their market position and gain commercial advantage:

Our Licensees


Ploughshare Innovations was established in 2005 to commercialise and increase the impact of intellectual property generated from research at Dstl. Since its creation, Ploughshare has commercialised 126 technologies and launched thirteen spin-out companies, principally for civilian applications. Its license agreements have resulted in the creation of around 585 jobs, generated £222 million worth of exports, and attracted £140 million of investment.

See Highlights from our History