Plans revealed for new maritime centre of excellence at Portsdown Technology Park
Continuing its partnership with the Royal Navy, QinetiQ is investing over £18m in a brand new building which will increase the site’s capacity and transform it into a UK Centre of Excellence for Maritime Mission Systems. The investment is supported by a further £5m Local Growth Fund investment from the Solent LEP.
The funding will unlock innovation-led growth through the creation of a combat system engineering academy, engaging more businesses in knowledge transfer and developing links to wider Higher Education institutes.
An Innovation and Collaboration hub, sponsored by the Solent LEP as part of the redevelopment, will offer opportunities for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) to attract the best local talent and develop Maritime Mission System offerings for UK and International markets.
Steve Fitz-Gerald, QinetiQ Managing Director, Maritime, Land & Weapons, said: “This investment delivers a step change in the Solent Region’s ability to export to the world’s marine and maritime defence markets, with a range of capabilities unparalleled in the UK. It builds on our commitment to modernising the UK’s test and evaluation capability, ensuring it continues to support the safety and operational advantage of our Armed Forces.”
Gary Jeffries, Chairman of the Solent LEP added: “The reputation of the Solent region’s marine and maritime sector is world class. This investment by the LEP with QinetiQ will consolidate the sector’s pre-eminent position and create new opportunities for SMEs, who will be able to upskill their workforce and engage the supply chains of large companies delivering major projects.”
Cllr Donna Jones, Leader of Portsmouth City Council, said: "It is fantastic news that QinetiQ and the Royal Navy have made this commitment to Portsmouth. The investment from QinetiQ and the Solent LEP will have huge benefits for the city, creating jobs and helping local businesses expand their markets. This will help cement the Solent region's position as a hub for expertise in the marine and maritime sector.”
News of the investment follows the announcement in September 2017 that QinetiQ is to provide combat systems expertise for the Royal Navy’s future Type 26 Global Combat Ships at Portsdown Technology Park. The £8m deal with the Royal Navy is an amendment to the existing Naval Combat System Integration Support Services (NCSISS) contract, first signed in 2012 and renewed at £110m for a further 11 years in 2016.
Steve Fitz-Gerald added: “September’s contract shows that the site’s unique capabilities are equally valuable to warships both in-service and in development.”
Under the NCSISS contract, QinetiQ develops and de-risks Royal Navy mission systems and infrastructure through integration and testing at Portsdown. Current site activities sustain around 280 jobs operating in collaboration with the Royal Navy, Defence Equipment & Support and BAE Systems.
For over 45 years, Portsdown Technology Park (PTP) has integrated and tested complex combat and communications equipment and software for all Royal Navy warships prior to their deployment at sea. Recent examples of technology that has been tested and integrated with existing equipment using facilities at PTP include BAE Systems’ Artisan surveillance radar and MBDA’s Sea Ceptor Air Defence System.
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