Centre for Defence Enterprise (CDE)

The Centre for Defence Enterprise (CDE) is the first point of contact for anyone with a disruptive technology, new process or innovation that has a potential defence application. CDE funds research into novel high-risk, high-potential-benefit innovations sourced from the broadest possible range of science and technology providers, including academia and small companies, to enable development of cost-effective capability advantage for UK Armed Forces.

CDE is the entry point for new science and technology providers to defence, bringing together innovation and investment for the defence and security markets.

CDE is aligned with the Government’s Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) managed by the Technology Strategy Board.

All CDE research proposals must be submitted online via the portal. You are also welcome to come and talk to us at CDE before submitting a proposal. The CDE team at Harwell is available to talk to you about your innovative idea or you can book a one-to-one surgery appointment via the events page. Once your proposal is submitted you can track its progress online.

CDE welcomes research proposals via two different routes:

  • Open call - an enduring call for any innovative research ideas that have a potential defence and security application.
  • Themed call – a specific call for innovative research ideas to meet particular challenges.

Find out more about the proposal process.

CDE provides:

  • understanding of defence background and military issues
  • visibility of MOD requirements and challenges
  • access to full, proof-of-concept funding for successful research proposals
  • support and coaching to maximise the impact of research outputs
  • access to MOD specialists and established defence suppliers
  • increased opportunities for proven innovations to be developed further.