License and spin-out opportunities in UK government defence and security innovations

Ploughshare uniquely offers to industry, investors and entrepreneurs the opportunity to benefit from government-backed, high-technology innovations.

We take the very best innovations developed by the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) and from across the Ministry of Defence (MOD) to find new applications in the commercial world. Ploughshare is the only organisation to have access to these inventions. These innovations, developed to meet operational defence and security requirements, benefit from having received government backing, are de-risked, and have robust intellectual property positions.

Man Presenting to Group of People

Why invest with Ploughshare?

Ploughshare has unique access to the broad range of innovations created by the Ministry of Defence. The investment, scientific rigour, and protection of these government-backed technologies creates reduced risk investible opportunities.

  • Gain preferential access to “dual use” Ministry of Defence science and technology inventions and investment.
  • Exclusive output from a £600M research programme supported by 3,500 world-class scientists and engineers.
  • Be part of the next transformational discovery and a rich heritage of innovation from radar, to LCDs and sonar.
  • Access to a broad portfolio covering life sciences, communications, networks, electronics, sensors, software and materials.

Reduced risk

Reduced technical risk
Our opportunities benefit from reduced technical risk due to the fact they are typically at a medium to high Technology Readiness Level (TRL). This means they are largely proven practical solutions and have progressed beyond ‘blue sky’ speculative concepts. In addition, they will have been developed to solve real-world problems to meet UK Government requirements. This in turn can provide a potential initial end-user.

Reduced IP risk
The intellectual property is owned by the Secretary of State for Defence and as such is rigorously protected and enforced.

Reduced commercial risk
Our technology transfer team, backed by their experience in numerous industries, conducts technical screening, business plan development, and commercial due diligence to create investment-ready deals.

Reduced deal closure risk
Being separate from the Ministry of Defence gives us commercial flexibility which provides a business-like rather than civil-service approach to structuring attractive, profitable and workable spin-out and partnership deals.

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There are some amazing start-ups being spun out of the MOD through Ploughshare and not only in the fields of defence but also in medical diagnostics and quantum computing. I know that VC and angel investors will be queuing up to invest in one of the strongest deep tech pipelines in the UK through Ploughshare.

John Spindler
CEO of Capital Enterprise and Ploughshare’s Investor in Residence

John Spindler Headshot

Results that matter


Spin-out companies

140 +

Technologies licensed

400 +

UK jobs created

£ 117 m

Gross value add

£ 180 m

Public and private investment

Become an investor

If you are interested in investing in the future of innovation, let’s talk.

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