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News Article

Dstl to become the key focus of science and technology within MOD

A Defence Policy and Business news article

19 Mar 10

Changes taking place to the management of science, innovation and technology across British defence mean that from 1 April 2010 the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) will become the key focus for these areas.

Member of the RAF Regiment

A member of the RAF Regiment crouches in front of a Puma helicopter after disembarking during an exercise
[Picture: SAC Scott Ferguson, Crown Copyright/MOD 2008]

From that date, Dstl will become responsible for leading the defence science and technology (S&T) research programme - designing, formulating and commissioning programmes with industry (large and small), academia and other research organisations.

This change follows a review and consultation process.

Dr Frances Saunders, Chief Executive of Dstl, said:

"Dstl will lead and support the defence S&T sector in responding to the MOD's current and future needs.

"These changes will increase our ability to bring together the users of S&T in the MOD with the suppliers in industry and academia, with the aim of reducing the time it takes for pull-through of advances into service.

"Our role is to maximise the impact of science and technology on defence. We are proud to have delivered work that has saved lives in the UK, overseas and on the front line, and will continue to do so in the future."

"Our role is to maximise the impact of science and technology on defence. We are proud to have delivered work that has saved lives in the UK, overseas and on the front line, and will continue to do so in the future."

Dr Frances Saunders


The changes will reduce overheads, with around 100 posts removed from science and technology management within the MOD, and those savings reinvested in research.

The offices of the Defence Technology and Innovation Centre will close and its responsibilities and functions will move to Dstl.

SIT (Science Innovation Technology) will also step down and be replaced with a small head office team working directly within the Ministry of Defence.

Dr Saunders added:

"Dstl will continue to undertake projects that are sensitive, operationally-critical or international in nature which should only be performed by government.

"We are now the single point of contact, with science and technology research funding coming through Dstl to the widest possible variety of suppliers. We will set the parameters and work with suppliers to get the best possible results for government and our Armed Forces."

Portable Integrated Battlespace Bio Detection Unit

The Portable Integrated Battlespace Bio Detection Unit is a prototype bio-warfare defence concept demonstrator from the MOD's Defence Science and Technology Laboratory
[Picture: Allan House, Crown Copyright/MOD 2010]


One new appointment has been announced following this review: Jonathan Lyle, previously Director of the Defence Academy's College of Management and Technology, will be Dstl's Programme Office Director.

The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory is a trading fund of the Ministry of Defence and is accountable to government, to the taxpayer and the troops it supports in the field every day. Dstl also works with other government departments, exploiting its expertise and knowledge to improve the safety and security of UK citizens.

More than 3,700 of the nation's most talented and creative scientists, technologists and engineers work for Dstl at its three main sites: Porton Down near Salisbury, Portsdown West near Portsmouth and Fort Halstead near Sevenoaks.



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