Defence Science and Technology Laboratory
|Formed||2 July 2001|
|Headquarters||Porton Down, Wiltshire|
|Employees||3,636 (2009/10 average)|
|Parent agency||Ministry of Defence|
The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) is a trading fund of the Ministry of Defence of the United Kingdom. Responsibility for it lies with the Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology, currently Harriett Baldwin. Its board is chaired by Sir David Pepper.
Its stated purpose is "to maximise the impact of science and technology for the defence and security of the UK."
In July 2001, the Defence Evaluation and Research Agency (DERA) was split into two parts, Dstl and Qinetiq. Dstl was established to carry out science and technology work that is best done within government, while the majority and that suitable for industry was transferred to QinetiQ, a wholly owned government company before being floated on the stock exchange.
Dstl is a trading fund owned by the Secretary of State for Defence. Most funding comes from the Ministry of Defence (MOD), while a small portion comes from other government departments and commercial sources. According to 2012/13 figures, 93% of Dstl's income comes from the MOD.
From its creation in 2001 the Chief Executive was Martin J Earwicker until he left in 2006 for the Science Museum. Dr Frances Saunders took over as acting Chief Executive in May 2006 and was appointed as Chief Executive in August 2007.
On 29 June 2011 Dr Saunders announced to staff that her post had been advertised and that she would not be applying. On 13 December 2011 the MOD announced that Jonathan Lyle, Director of the Programme Office at Dstl, would replace Dr Saunders in March 2012.
In 2015 Dstl completed a major reorganisation, merging twelve operating departments into five divisions on 1 April 2015. The motivation behind this change was to enable more coherent and productive delivery to customers and simplify access routes for suppliers.
Dstl carries out a broad range of work from high-level analysis to support Ministry of Defence policy and procurement decisions, to technical research in defence areas such as biomedical science and electronics, alongside operational work such as forensic analysis of explosives and providing paid volunteer scientists to Iraq and Afghanistan to provide rapid scientific advice to British forces. It has done work for around 40 government departments and agencies including the Home Office and Department for Transport. It undertakes research with both industry and academia to achieve its role.
Following a review and consultation process initiated by MOD's Chief Scientific Advisor, it become responsible for the formulation and commission of MOD's non-nuclear research programme from 1 Apr 2010, under the responsibility of the DST Programme Office. Within the Programme Office are 16 domains  with some established as Science and Technology Centres, including Armour and Protection, Cyber and Influence, Counter Terrorism, and CBR (Chemical, Biological and Radiological). These centres fund research via the Centre for Defence Enterprise, also part of the Programme Office.
Within the Strategic Defence and Security Review 2015 was a proposal to create "a Government-backed service designed to help small and medium-sized businesses bring new ideas to market more quickly". In 2016, it was announced by Defence Secretary Michael Fallon that this 'Defence and Security Accelerator' would have access to an £800m innovation fund and build on the 'Centre for Defence Enterprise' model, operating within Dstl.
In April 2005 the technology transfer company Ploughshare Innovations Ltd was formed to manage and exploit intellectual property within Dstl. Dstl and Ploughshare Innovations have successfully spun-out several new companies including Alaska Food Diagnostics and P2i Ltd.
- The Technical Cooperation Program (TTCP) – an international defence science and technology collaboration between Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States.
- DARPA – US Defence Agency responsible for the development of new technology for the US military.
- Defence Science and Technology Organisation – a branch of the Australian Department of Defence that researches and develops technologies for the Australian defence industry.
- Qinetiq – the part of Defence Evaluation and Research Agency (DERA) privatised in June 2001, with the remainder of DERA renamed Dstl.
Notes and references
- "Parliamentary Under Secretary of State and Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology (including Defence Exports)". GOV.UK. Retrieved 16 February 2014.
- "New Chairman of the Dstl Board". Dstl. 8 July 2014. Retrieved 14 January 2015.
- "About us". Dstl. Archived from the original on 21 October 2013. Retrieved 16 February 2014.
- Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (17 June 2013). Defence Science and Technology Laboratory annual report and accounts 2012 to 2013 (PDF). HC 170 2013-14. ISBN 9780102984040.
- "MoD searches for a new James Bond-style Q". Daily Mail. London. 2011. Retrieved 16 February 2014.
- "House of Commons - Defence - Minutes of Evidence". parliament.the-stationery-office.co.uk. 2011. Archived from the original on 29 August 2012. Retrieved 12 June 2011.
- "Press release: Heading up Defence Science - New Chief Executive appointed at Dstl" (PDF). dstl.gov.uk. 16 August 2007. Archived from the original (PDF) on 28 September 2011.
- Gilbert, Natasha (20 November 2007). "Interview: Frances Saunders | Education | The Guardian". The Guardian. London: GMG. ISSN 0261-3077. OCLC 60623878. Retrieved 12 June 2011.
- Global email to all staff dated 29/6/11
- "Jonathan Lyle named as new Dstl Chief Executive". Ministry of Defence. GOV.UK. Retrieved 16 February 2014.
- Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (22 June 2015). "Annual Report and Accounts 2014/15" (PDF).
- Gardham, Duncan (11 July 2007). "'We've never seen a bomb like 21/7 devices'". The Daily Telegraph. London. ISSN 0307-1235. OCLC 49632006. Retrieved 16 February 2014.
- "The Strategic Defence and Security Review and The National Security Strategy". publications.parliament.uk. 2011. Retrieved 12 June 2011.
- "Dstl to become the key focus of science and technology within MOD" (Press release). Ministry of Defence. 19 March 2010. Archived from the original on 26 October 2012. Retrieved 16 February 2014.
- National Archives (UK)
- "Science and Technology Centres | dstl | Defence Science and Technology Laboratory". dstl.gov.uk. Ministry of Defence. Archived from the original on 22 February 2014.
- "Centre for Defence Enterprise". Ministry of Defence. Retrieved 16 February 2014.
- "The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl)". Ministry of Defence. Retrieved 16 February 2014.
- National Security Strategy and Strategic Defence and Security Review 2015: A Secure and Prosperous United Kingdom (PDF). HM Government. November 2015. ISBN 9781474125963.
- "Defence Innovation Initiative - Speeches". www.gov.uk. Retrieved 2016-09-20.
- DSTL Press Release dated 17/6/2011 https://www.dstl.gov.uk/downloads/Dstl_Fort_Halstead.pdf
- "House of Commons - Defence - Eighth Report". publications.parliament.uk. 2007. Retrieved 12 June 2011.
- "Ploughshare Innovations - Intellectual Property Licensing for Dstl - Ploughshare". ploughshareinnovations.com. 2011. Retrieved 12 June 2011.
- Stewart, Heather (4 May 2004). "MoD tries to turn swords into shares | Business | The Guardian". The Guardian. London: GMG. ISSN 0261-3077. OCLC 60623878. Retrieved 12 June 2011.