Defence technology exploitation programme

The Defence Technology Exploitation Programme (DTEP) funds projects which help small and medium-sized suppliers develop innovative technologies and win new business with prime aerospace companies across the world.

The Programme offers Invest Northern Ireland client companies grant funding of up to 50% of £300,000 total project expenditure to collaborate with at least one or more partner on a research and development project.

Participating companies must also work with a sponsoring UK based Tier 1 or defence prime company as part of the project.

DTEP is based on the National Aerospace Technology Exploitation Programme (NATEP) model and The Defence Industrial Policy Refresh in 2017 which sets the following objectives for the defence sector in the UK:

  • Make it easier for innovators, small and medium-sized enterprises and non-traditional defence suppliers to do business in the sector
  • Improve the wider economic and international value of the sector, helping deliver national security objectives
  • Help UK industry to be internationally competitive, innovative and secure

The Programme is supported by The Ministry of Defence (MoD).

Programme information

  • The partners can be other companies, catapults or academic partners, but must be based in Northern Ireland
  • Invest Northern Ireland will work with local companies and primes to help build relationships
  • The sponsoring Tier 1 Company or Prime will freely contribute their time, effort and resources to work with the SMEs as they undertake their collaborative research and development project (estimated value of 15% of the grant value).
  • Fundamental research is not suitable, but a wide range of Technology Readiness Levels (usually TRL4-7) may be considered if a clear outcome is defined in the application.
  • DTEP funding is provided under Invest Northern Ireland’s Grant for R&D scheme which is part-financed by the European Regional Development Fund under the Investment for Growth and Jobs Programme 2014-2020.

Eligibility criteria

Projects must:

  • Have an Invest Northern Ireland client company in the lead, along with partner and sponsoring prime company
  • Demonstrate how the project technologies provide alignment with MoD objectives, the MoD Science and Technology Strategy 2017 or show how the proposed project helps address the strategic research objectives of the sponsoring Tier 1 defence company or prime
  • Benefit the competitiveness and capability of the consortium partners
  • Show clear benefit technically and in creating or safeguarding jobs
  • Have a clear exploitation path, typically through a prime or tier 1 supplier
  • Aim to use newly developed technology or processes in current or future product or manufacturing process, with potential wider exploitation possibilities to enhance the advanced manufacturing sector

Applications will be considered on a case by case basis.

For more information on DTEP, Contact us or alternatively call our Business Support Team on 0800 181 4422 or speak to your client executive.

What if I am not an Invest Northern Ireland customer?

If your company is not already an Invest Northern Ireland customer, Contact us or alternatively call our Business Support Team on 0800 181 4422.

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Business support team
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