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Ploughshare Successes Continue to Support UK Prosperity

24 July 2017

Ploughshare Innovations, the technology commercialisation arm of Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl), is pleased to announce an increasing number of growth and economic benefits it has provided to the UK economy, including the creation of hundreds of jobs and multi-million pound export deals.

The latest Ploughshare Economic Prosperity Report, commissioned by Ploughshare and conducted by independent economics consultancy SQW, shows an increase in the benefits Ploughshare has delivered since the previously published report in 2014.

The economic impacts include:

  • Jobs - the creation of 585 jobs.
  • Exports - An increase of 70% in exports from £44 million (previous 2014 assessment) to £75 million, with a further £147 million forecast by 2018/19.
  • GVA - £118 million Gross Value Added (GVA), increasing to a forecast of more than £220 million by 2018/19.
  • Public / Private Investment - Spin-out companies have attracted £140 million investment, an increase of £10 million.

In addition to quantitative contributions, Ploughshare’s activities have also provided wider qualitative benefits to both industry and society.

The commercialisation of technologies has contributed to the development of new products for MOD, including advanced vehicle armour, electronic warfare software, and bio and chemical threat detection. In addition to improving UK capability, this also supports UK supply chains. For example, 85% of the suppliers for the vehicle armour product worldwide are UK-based.

Beyond defence, notable applications include portable diagnostic devices to detect viruses, which were trialled in Sierra Leone to support those affected by Ebola.

James Kirby, CEO of Ploughshare Innovations commented:

"This latest report again demonstrates the success which Ploughshare has become. By commercialising the best Intellectual Property (IP) created at Dstl we maximise their investment in technology research and provide wider benefits to both humanity and the UK’s prosperity and security."

Graham Farnsworth, Head of IP Group at Dstl added:

"Our collaboration with Ploughshare is providing amazing opportunities to develop our technology for wider applications. It also provides our scientists with personal and professional benefits by being involved in the commercialisation process which in turn has a positive impact on the whole IP creation process."


Notes to editors

Ploughshare Innovations Limited

Ploughshare Innovations is the technology transfer organisation for the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD). It turns ‘swords into ploughshares’ by enabling businesses to gain access to defence and security technology developed by leading government laboratories. Ploughshare ensures Government technology is put to good use and benefits the UK, society as a whole, and humanity by applying innovative technology to improve people’s lives. Since its creation in 2005, the company has licensed 120 technologies and attracted £140 million of investment. Read more about Ploughshare.

Contact: info@ploughshareinnovations.com | @ploughshare1


The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) maximises the impact of science and technology (S&T) for the defence and security of the UK, supplying sensitive and specialist S&T services for the Ministry of Defence (MOD) and wider government.

Dstl is a trading fund of the MOD, run along commercial lines. It is one of the principal government organisations dedicated to S&T in the defence and security field, with three main sites at Porton Down, near Salisbury, Portsdown West, near Portsmouth, and Fort Halstead, near Sevenoaks.

Dstl works with a wide range of partners and suppliers in industry, in academia and overseas. Around 60% of MOD’s Science and Technology Programme is delivered by these external partners and suppliers

For more information contact the Dstl press office on 01980 658666, 07901 892660, press@dstl.gov.uk.

Follow us on Twitter: @dstlmod

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