New Dstl site in Newcastle will specialise in artificial intelligence and data science and work with regional partners.

Yesterday, Defence Procurement Minister Jeremy Quin opened the hub at a formal ceremony in Newcastle, alongside Chief Scientific Adviser, Professor Dame Angela McLean DBE and Dstl’s recently appointed chief executive Paul Hollinshead.

Defence Minister Jeremy Quin said:

It’s vital that Defence is open, outgoing and engaged, tapping into the best ideas across the UK.

The Dstl science and technology hub in Newcastle will help spread Dstl’s geographic reach and harness the brilliant minds of the scientists, engineers and academics to develop cutting edge data science and artificial intelligence to support our national security.

In response to the increased emphasis on science and technology in the UK and our drive for diversity and the recruitment of core skills, Dstl is investigating opportunities for science and technology hubs around the UK to access new suppliers, including industry, small and medium-sized enterprises and academia, and alternative recruitment opportunities.

The small Dstl team will carry out AI and data science related research to help defence, turn data into information advantage, and to accelerate the responsible and ethical adoption of AI across defence.

Dstl Newcastle aims to achieve full operating capability by spring 2023.

Recruitment is ongoing in parallel with the opening event. Dstl expects to have approximately 15 employees based at the site by April next year.

Dr Paul Hollinshead MBA OBE said:

This is a really exciting time for Dstl and our drive to support UK science and technology. The hub already has seven members of staff working at The Catalyst building, and we look forward to harnessing further talent from across the region to deliver the best scientific advice and solutions to the MOD and the country.

Locally-based innovation organisations, such as the National Innovation Centre for Data and the Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA), will support Dstl’s objectives by enhancing its understanding of the opportunities offered by innovation in data both in the North East and across the country.

Dstl’s science and technology hub programme aligns with the Government’s Levelling Up agenda with Dstl Newcastle cited in the recently published White Paper.