Newcastle is at the heart of a new wave of innovation in UK defence and aerospace, working with industry leaders and researchers to find new applications for emerging digital technologies and stimulate economic growth.
Newcastle is developing a significant cluster around space and security, following major investments by a number of international defence companies and the establishment of the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) in the city.
Dstl is one of the principal government organisations dedicated to science and technology in the defence and security field and the Newcastle site focuses on AI and data science related research.
Newcastle is also home to the National Innovation Centre for Data (NICD), which links industry and academia to explore opportunities related to data-driven technologies.
In 2023, global defence prime Leonardo invested in a major research site in Newcastle and the company has since signed a partnership with NICD on two data analytics projects, one focused on federated machine learning and another advancing technologies for smart data streaming. Leonardo will create at least 200 jobs and is committed to investing in the city for the long-term.
The world’s largest defence company, Lockheed Martin, has also formed a partnership with Northumbria University to create the North East Space Skills and Technology Centre – a £50m facility that will drive research and innovation in areas including optical satellite communications, space weather and space-based energy, as well as providing specialist education and training to ensure the UK space sector has the highly skilled workers it needs in the future.
Newcastle is home to local companies such as Pearson Engineering, which is located on the historic Armstrong Works site and a key supplier of armoured vehicles to the British Armed Forces. Irish virtual training simulation company VRAI also operates out of the city, working with OEMs and front line commands to prepare troops for active operational environments.
The growth of space and security across North East England has led to the formation of the North East Regional Defence and Security Cluster (NERDSC). The cluster is backed by Space North East England, which is building unique capabilities in satellite applications and communications, earth observation and orbital analysis.
The North East Space Skills and Technology Centre (NESST) is a £50m facility to develop future skills for the UK space sector.
Dstl’s Newcastle research site is at the forefront of AI research.
North East defence and security companies have received £500m in Innovate UK grant funding since 2002.
Almost 16,000 people are employed in the defence and security sector across North East England.
Take a look at the space and security clusters driving growth in Newcastle.
Newcastle has emerged as a centre of excellence for data skills, with the National Innovation Centre for Data helping SMEs and multinationals to automate, optimise and make more informed decisions.
Newcastle offers access to a diverse ecosystem of companies who are at the forefront of innovation in space satellite communications, observation and orbital analysis.
Newcastle's Armstrong Works is owned by Pearson Engineering and Responsive Engineering, which manufacture state-of-the-art front end equipment and attachments that help armoured vehicles to breach minefields, clear explosive ordnance and protect against explosive devices.
Newcastle is home to Leonardo, which develops some of the most advanced electronic systems for air, land, sea, space and cyber, providing 60% of the avionics for the Eurofighter Typhoon and acting as a strategic partner of the Global Combat Air Programme (GCAP).
Explore the assets local companies are using to power innovation.
Defence Science and Technology Laboratory
DSTL brings together industry leaders and researchers to explore novel applications for emerging digital technologies in the defence and aerospace sector.
National Innovation Centre for Data
NICD is an international centre of excellence focused on advancing research in the field of data science and exploring opportunities related to data-driven technologies.
Stellium Data Centre
Stellium Data Centre is a secure, high-capacity fibre network routeing to mainland Europe and the USA via the North Atlantic Loop.
Newcastle University is a Russell Group university with a global reputation for academic excellence and groundbreaking advancements in fields ranging from healthcare and ageing to data and sustainable development.
Northumbria University is a former Times Higher Education University of the Year that continues to raise the bar on research and innovation in fields such as biotechnology, aerospace, energy systems…