Plowshare wins government funding for 2 defense technologies


Plowshare, the company owned by the Ministry of Defense (MOD) which finds inspiring new uses for government inventions, has won over £280,000 in grants to develop 2 technologies to benefit society.

Plowshare facilitated winning bids from the Defense Science and Technology Laboratory (dstl) to the government’s new Knowledge Assets Grant Fund. The funds will support the development of 2 new technologies – a predictive sepsis test developed by Presymptom Health and a sensor capable of detecting and identifying laser threats from Sentinel Photonics.

The grants, offered by the Knowledge Assets Unit of the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), aim to support the repurposing, commercialization or wider use of public sector knowledge assets. This is part of the government’s Knowledge Assets initiative which aims to unlock the value of knowledge assets for social, economic and financial benefit to the public with a targeted program of work and support to organizations across of the government.

David English, dstl Chief Financial Officer, commented:

We are delighted that these scientific and technological innovations developed by dstl will be further advanced. These two examples are indicative of dstlcommitment to protecting lives through superior technology and innovation, while supporting UK industry.

In the case of Presymptom HealthSoc supported dstl by securing up to £100,000 of the fund which he will use to contract Presymptom Health to conduct research and development of AI machine learning software. This software could be used to analyze thousands of blood samples in dstl‘s biobank, accumulated over 10 years of research.

Early trials of the technology, first developed for the MOD for front-line use and now licensed by Plowshare to Presymptom Health, suggest it can predict the onset of sepsis in patients up to three days before symptoms appear, allowing clinicians to treat them much earlier and manage them more effectively.

The soc also helped dstl in his £180,000 bid for his work with Sentinel Photonics, which develops sophisticated technology to detect and protect against laser threats. The technology, licensed to Sentinel by Plowshare, was developed for military use to detect and assess threat levels from lasers deployed against personnel, aircraft and vehicles.

dstl will use grant funding to contract Sentinel to explore opportunities for civilian use – for example as a method of detecting and assessing the level of threat when lasers are aimed at commercial aircraft such as air ambulances or during sporting events. The technology could potentially be installed in public spaces to detect lasers, acting as a deterrent against their illegal use.

Hetti Barkworth-Nanton, CEO of Plowshare, said:

We are delighted to have facilitated dstlSuccessful applications of so Presymptom Health and Sentinel Photonics can be among the first to benefit from the Knowledge Asset Grant Fund. This fund was created specifically to test the potential of knowledge assets for expanded or alternative use – directly in line with our mission to enable the commercialization of government defense research for the benefit of society.

These 2 technologies are in a very exciting stage of development, and the support of BEIS and dstl will allow them to take the next step towards a positive societal impact.

Chris Burgess, CEO of Sentinel Photonics, said:

We are grateful for the support of Plowshare, dstl and BEIS to obtain these funds which will allow us to take an important step in unlocking the potential of our technology to detect and protect civilians against laser threats. This grant will give us the space and time to talk with relevant organizations while we continue to develop and refine our technology.

Iain Miller, CEO of Presymptom Health, said:

As we continue to explore the potential of our technology to provide early diagnosis of sepsis, which kills up to 11 million people each year worldwide, we are grateful for this grant which may allow us to find new ways to detect the disease. – tale markers that are an indication of disease.

Our development of machine learning technology, with the support of dstl and enabled by the Knowledge Assets Grant Fund, could dramatically increase the speed at which we can analyze samples, allowing us to scale up this potentially life-saving test more quickly.

Plow share, exclusive property of dstlhas unique access to a wide range of technologies developed by world-leading scientists and engineers MOD and broader government. Since its creation in 2005, it has authorized more than 140 innovative technologies and created more than 400 jobs.

The Knowledge Assets Grant Fund, operated from BEIS, offers grants of up to £250,000 to support the repurposing, commercialization or wider use of public sector knowledge assets. This aims to realize the potential of these assets for the benefit of UK. Later this year, a new unit dedicated to BEIS will launch to support the development of knowledge assets, including a new round of funding for the Knowledge Assets Grant Fund.

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