Innovation news in brief: Space; Dstl; MRC Technology; driverless cars; Deutsche Bank

There are lots of opportunities for companies developing innovative products for the space sector

Stellar support at UNIP for space businesses

Small businesses developing products and services for the space sector will be able to take advantage of a new incubation programme being run at the University of Nottingham Innovation Park (UNIP).

The Space Technology Entrepreneurship (Space TEC) programme at Nottingham will utilise the University’s expertise in key technologies and enterprise education, and will also link with its international campuses.

The Space TEC programme is being funded through the UK Space Agency’s Business Incubation Programme.

Colin Baldwin, UK Space Gateway programme manager at the UK Space Agency, said: “Within the East Midlands there are opportunities for a range of companies developing innovative products that can match the needs of the space industry, building upon existing strengths in space hardware, Earth observation and global navigation systems.

“We’re committed to nurturing business and research in these regions, and showing small businesses how they can benefit from our £11.8 billion space industry.”

Mark Tock, director of the University of Nottingham Innovation Park, said: “It is fantastic news that UNIP is part of this exciting UK Space Agency incubation initiative, and very timely with the forthcoming opening of our new Technology Entrepreneurship Centre.”

Secretary of State for Defence visits Porton Down

The Defence Secretary Michael Fallon has visited the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) as it marks 100 years of defence operations at its Porton Down site.

Fallon met scientists, engineers and analysts at the site who told him about some of their work, including support to the Armed Forces on operations, providing forensic analysis and cyber defence.

Reflecting on the work at the site, Fallon said: “Dstl continues to carry out vital work at a site which has a long history of protecting our Armed Forces, whether through the development of respirators, or innovative new body armour. The ground-breaking research continues to help defend the UK from a multitude of threats."

MRC Technology appoints two new board members

Life science medical research charity MRC Technology has appointed Dr Les Hughes and Dr Mike Romanos to the board of trustees.

Dr John Stageman, chairman, MRC Technology, commented: “As a charity we strive to ensure that innovative science in any disease area reaches its full potential. Our board of trustees plays a vital role in governing the charity and we are therefore delighted to welcome Les and Mike who together bring huge additional experience in life sciences research and development, and related industry knowledge.”

MRC Technology aims to find new treatments in areas where there is unmet patient need. It works with academic, biotechnology, pharmaceutical and charity organisations to find science with potential and develop it to improve diagnostics and medicines.

Singapore could be the first to launch driverless cars

Singapore may be the first nation to release driverless vehicles, Mica Kelmachter writes on

NuTonomy, a driverless car start-up, intends to debut a pilot study in Singapore, with a public testing date before the end of 2016.

Seven major companies claim they will be marketing driverless cars by 2020 while the National League of Cities estimates driverless cars will be "routine" by 2030.

Deutsche Bank launches Silicon Valley innovation lab

Deutsche Bank has opened an innovation lab in Silicon Valley to strengthen its ability to innovate and deepen its relationships with start-ups.

The lab in Palo Alto will enable the Bank to evaluate emerging technologies from Silicon Valley and apply them to enhance its products, services and internal processes.

Deutsche Bank is working in partnership with IBM, which is contributing resources, expertise and relationships to the bank-led efforts.

The opening follows the successful launch of innovation labs in Berlin and London last year.