The Ministry of Defence (MOD) is committed to making it easier for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to do business with defence, as we recognise that they are a rich source of innovation. We are working to improve our engagement with SMEs throughout our supply chain; for example, encouraging early visibility of forthcoming requirements, and expressing our requirements as outputs rather than detailed solutions to facilitate innovation.
The MOD is also encouraging SME involvement in the Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) and the £800 million Defence Innovation Fund. DASA helps government defence and security departments collaborate with the private sector and academia to rapidly develop innovative solutions to our most pressing national security and defence challenges. Since its establishment, DASA has committed £53 million to suppliers, with around half of the contracts awarded to SMEs.
To help develop innovative technologies, the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory has also just launched 'SME Searchlight', an initiative to actively find and engage SMEs for defence research.