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UK Defence opens BattleLab innovation hub

The BattleLab is designed to bolster the innovative capabilities of the UK Armed Forces, serving as a nexus for Defence, academia and industry.

The BattleLab is designed to bolster the innovative capabilities of the UK Armed Forces, serving as a nexus for Defence, academia and industry.

Not only is the BattleLab expected to design new cutting-edge defence innovation, but also conduct trials and experimentation at the Lulworth multi-domain defence site – boasting 15,000 feet of cleared airspace coupled with sea and live fire ranges. 

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Fundamentally, the site is designed to foster collaboration between Defence, research and business by offering a secure network with three 5G testbeds and rentable office spaces.

“As the pace of technological change continues to spiral, Defence must be forward leaning and innovative in its approach,” Defence Procurement Minister Jeremy Quin said.

“Collaboration and innovation will be the catalysts to maintaining advantage over our adversaries. The BattleLab will bring together the best talent and expertise in industry and push technology boundaries to equip our Armed Forces with the latest state of the art kit.

“This will be supported by our new Land Industrial Strategy, which will increase transparency with industry to help drive joint working.”

According to Defence, the BattleLab workspace is overseen by the Defence Innovation Unit, single Services, Dstl, DASA, Dorset Council and Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership.

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“Defence Innovation is excited to co-fund the new Defence BattleLab as we boost our partnerships with talented industry innovators, to more rapidly deliver the battle-winning technologies of tomorrow,” Clare Cameron, defence innovation director, said.

The announcement has coincided with the British Armys new Land Industrial Strategy.

The strategy has been billed as a new cornerstone policy to build a more innovative and modern British Army, with the strategy designed to help integrate new equipment into the Army sooner. 

“The Army is undergoing its most radical transformation in more than 20 years to deliver Future Soldier, including spending more than £40 billion in the next 10 years. This demands more from us, our delivery agents, and our industry partners, Deputy Chief of the General Staff, Lieutenant General Sir Chris Tickell, KBE, said.

“Our commitment to innovate and to work more closely with industry are underpinned by the Land Industrial Strategy and made manifest in facilities such as the Defence BattleLab. I could not be more excited to be a part of the launch for these fundamental aspects of our modernisation.”

[Related: Overcoming quantity with quality: Can the British military withstand troop cuts?]

UK Defence opens BattleLab innovation hub
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