Imperial’s White City Campus is providing a new hub for the Government’s Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA).
DASA, which was created by the Ministry of Defence, aims to improve the UK’s existing defence and security capabilities and find innovative solutions to key challenges, while generating economic value.
The partnership between DASA and Imperial at the College’s White City campus is of critical importance Professor Hugh Durrant-Whyte Chief Scientific Adviser to the Ministry of Defence
Operating across Government departments, DASA provides innovators with access to funding, technical expertise, end users and opportunities for collaboration to improve routes to commercialisation.
DASA has taken up residency in Central Working White City - located on the 4th floor of the I-HUB – a facility which co-locates businesses, start-ups and entrepreneurs alongside Imperial’s extensive network of researchers, academics and other corporate partners.
The move comes as Imperial and DASA sign an agreement to explore opportunities for collaboration in research, enterprise and innovation activities that could provide advantages to the UK’s defence and security.
The partnership is led by Imperial’s Institute of Security Science and Technology (ISST), an interdisciplinary research hub which envisages, designs and coordinates the application of science and technology to answer pressing security challenges relating to financial systems, climate and the environment, healthcare, critical infrastructure and biosecurity.
Value of collaboration
A joint management team, under the supervision of College lead and ISST Co-Director Professor Bill Lee and ISST Deputy Director Dr Deeph Chana, is overseeing the partnership.
Professor Bill Lee said: “At the ISST we bring together the best minds from
academia, government and industry to tackle some of the most pressing defence and security challenges of our time. We know the value of collaboration. Our co-location with DASA gives scope for new partnerships, research and commercialisation activities to enhance these efforts. We’re delighted to welcome them.”
The co-location with DASA signals Imperial’s vision for a cluster of Critical Infrastructure specialists at its White City campus. Earlier this year, Aerospace giant Airbus established an innovation hub for its Defence and Space division in Central Working White City.
Professor David Gann CBE, Vice President (Innovation) said: “Our world is facing new and ever-changing threats. To protect the essential services that underpin our economy, security, and health, we need bright minds, innovative technologies, and creative ideas. White City ticks all these boxes. It boasts a thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem where high-growth technology companies, world leading academics and corporate partners work side by side. DASA is a natural fit for White City, and they are just one of a cluster of critical infrastructure accelerators and innovation labs to take up residence alongside Imperial, Airbus and others at the campus.”
Solving problems through innovation
Dr Lucy Mason, Head of the Defence and Security Accelerator, said: “I am excited to see this new phase in the development of DASA. Our presence at I-HUB gives us access to innovative start-ups and world class academics across a wide range of disciplines, and promotes collaborative working between the Government, academia and the private sector. This partnership is an excellent example of reaching out beyond the traditional boundaries of defence and security and engaging widely to solve problems together through open innovation”.
Professor Hugh Durrant-Whyte, Chief Scientific Adviser to the Ministry of Defence, said: “The partnership between DASA and Imperial at the College’s White City campus is of critical importance in Defence modernisation. This exciting partnership brings together the skills, technology and resources to impact future defence capabilities and the way these are delivered.”
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