Dorset LEP has announced today (Aug 25) that it will be investing £1.5m into a new Ministry of Defence Innovation Hub.
The investments will be matched by £3.1m coming directly from the Ministry of Defence and £1.1m being allocated by Dorset Council.
The money is going to be used to build a new 1100m² office space as well as 450m² workshop space for MoD innovation.
The Centre will incorporate the Army Battle Lab, which will allow the Ministry of Defence to work alongside academic institutions, corporates and small and medium-sized enterprises to develop new products and technologies with the potential to be commercialised.
Defence Minister, Jeremy Quin, said:
“The Army’s Battle Lab in Dorset will build close industry relationships, whilst exploiting cutting-edge technologies to keep our Armed Forces sharp in the face of new and changing threats.
“This initiative will foster talent and innovation and will drive future success.”
The project, which has a provisional opening date for Spring 2021, aims to create 90 new jobs as well as £4.5m gross value added to the area.
Dorset's only economic development site with Enterprise Zone status, Dorset Innovation Park, is developing to be an advanced engineering hotspot for the South West, building on its strengths in marine, defence, energy and cyber-security.
Jim Stewart, Chair of Dorset LEP, said:
“This large-scale investment is a major boost to Dorset’s defence sector. Dorset is renowned for its strengths in innovation and this new MOD workspace will enable these sectors to flourish even further.
“We are delighted that the MoD has chosen Dorset Innovation Park for the location of its Defence Battle Lab and we look forward to working with them on its success.”