The Defence Technology Exploitation Programme

The Defence Technology Exploitation Programme (DTEP) aims to inspire companies to win new business, develop industrial capabilities, and provide new cutting-edge answers to defence problems at home and abroad, ensuring the UK expands its competitive, pioneering and world-class defence and security industries.

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Individual grants up to 50% of a project’s value, to a maximum of £500K per grant.


Innovate UK

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Individual grants of up to 50% of a project’s value – to a maximum of £500K per grant – will be available through DTEP for collaborative projects between SMEs and larger suppliers, supporting the integration of novel technologies, materials and processes into Defence supply chains.

The Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) supported by Innovate UK has launched a new opportunity to apply for grant funding: The Defence Technology Exploitation Programme (DTEP). This £16M programme, running initially for 3 years, is owned by the Ministry of Defence (MOD)’s Directorate of Industrial Strategy and Exports (DISE) and was announced in the Defence and Security Industrial Strategy (DSIS) in March 2021.

DTEP is designed to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) across the UK to develop innovative materials, technologies and processes, and to enhance defence supply chains.

DTEP aims to inspire companies to win new business, develop industrial capabilities, and provide new cutting-edge answers to defence problems at home and abroad. The programme will offer up to 50% grant funding to collaborations between UK-registered Lower Tier Suppliers (must be a UK-registered SME or smaller business) and Higher Tier Suppliers (which must either be part of an existing defence supply chain or intend to develop or join a new supply chain for new or existing MOD technology areas), developing projects which support the current and upcoming equipment capabilities and technology priorities of the Ministry of Defence. The maximum total allowable value of each DTEP project is £1M (therefore, the maximum grant award is £500K). The grant awards will be provided by Innovate UK.

DTEP aims to:

  • strengthen the technology development capabilities of UK defence supply chain companies
  • create / sustain high value jobs in the UK defence supply chain
  • enable the development of technologies in line with the MOD Enduring Capability Challenges

The current challenges fall under 5 broad headings:

1. Pervasive Full Spectrum Multidomain Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR)
2. Multi-Domain Command, Control, Communications and Computing (C4)
3. Secure and Sustain Advantage in the Sub-Threshold
4. Asymmetric and Hard Power
5. Freedom of Access and Manoeuvre

Further details of the current MOD Enduring Capability Challenges can be found here.

The application should come from the “Lower-Tier Supplier” mentioned above (which must be an SME or smaller business).

Your proposal should include evidence of:

  • technology, processes or materials that can be pulled into the defence supply chain
  • collaboration with a Higher Tier Supplier evidence of potential commercialisation pathway through to strategic supplier

DTEP offers companies grant funding of up to 50% of a total project expenditure. There is no lower limit to project cost, however, it is expected that most project totals will be between £100K and £500K. The competition will have a maximum allowable project value of £1M (i.e. maximum grant award of £500K). Projects must plan to start within 6 months of Innovate UK grant award and run for a maximum duration of 18 months.

The Higher Tier Supplier must contribute a minimum of 15% of the grant value (7.5% project value) through their own resources, e.g. staff time, equipment, facilities, expertise etc. This in addition to (not part of) the total project value. This should be detailed within the full proposal.

A collaboration could form in a number of ways:

  • An existing work relationship or your own current networks. We would anticipate that the majority of collaborations would form in this way.
  • Through guidance from your regional DASA Innovation Partner, who may have suitable contacts.
  • At future DASA collaboration events.
  • By signing up to the new DASA Idea’s Marketplace. Use of keywords and the search function could help you find a consortium partner.

Once you have a Higher Tier Supplier identified, your regional DASA Innovation Partner, along with a DASA Business Relationship Manager, will look at your readiness to enter DTEP.

Having identified the remit of your project and formed a consortium with a Higher Tier Supplier you are eligible to enter the first submission stage: the outline proposal. Submissions will be received via the DASA Online Submission Service for which you will be required to register. Only proposals submitted through the DASA Online Submission Service will be accepted.

Submissions are accepted throughout the year with close dates for review set every three months (with the first three review dates being 27th October 2022, and dates to be confirmed in January and April 2023).


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