Advanced engineering & manufacturing

We have highlighted the below support services to help with your business.


Located at Dorset Innovation Park, The Ministry of Defence has joined forces with Dorset Council and Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership, to open the first of its kind in the UK, the Defence BattleLab. The facility is home to end-users from different trades and specialisations across Defence; people placed to help collaborators navigate the MoD and make engagement more accessible. BattleLab seeks to enable exciting and creative collisions and connections, bringing the right minds together to solve challenging problems and emerging threats. Technology is advancing at an unprecedented rate, accelerated by the convergence of 5G, artificial intelligence, machine learning and quantum computing. By being transparent and willing to work more collaboratively, Defence aims to keep pace and remain competitive in a changing world. BattleLab is the defence innovation Co-Creation Space, part of the government National Strategic Technology and Innovation Exchange (NSTIx) programme. The programme was established to enable innovative development and prosperity opportunities by bringing parties to the table that would not normally be involved.

Visit BattleLab's website

British Marine Foundation

For marine-based businesses – BMF exist to support their members, providing expert advice, facilitating connections and championing their interests on a global stage.

Visit British Marine Foundation's website

Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl)

The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) provides world-class expertise and delivers cutting-edge science and technology for the the benefit of the UK and allies.

Visit Dstl's website

Dorset Engineering & Manufacturing Cluster

The Dorset Engineering and Manufacturing Cluster (DEMC) serves as a prominent voice for the region’s engineering and manufacturing enterprises. The past decade has seen significant growth in Dorset’s engineering and manufacturing sector.

The DEMC plays a pivotal role in nurturing and sustaining this growth trajectory by facilitating collaboration, innovation, and networking opportunities among stakeholders. Its initiatives aim to elevate the visibility of the engineering and manufacturing sector within Dorset, with a keen focus on boosting productivity and further growth. 

Moreover, the DEMC is committed to supporting workforce development initiatives, including skills enhancement and apprenticeship programs, to meet the evolving needs of the sector. It also explores avenues for collaboration with educational and research institutions to drive innovation and technological advancement. 

In addition, the DEMC serves as a valuable resource hub, providing insights on accessing business support, market trends, and financial assistance. Through these concerted efforts, the Dorset EMC plays an integral role in fortifying the region’s engineering and manufacturing landscape, paving the way for continued prosperity and innovation. 

Visit DEMC's website

Make UK

Make UK champions and celebrates British manufacturing and manufacturers. They build a platform for the evolution of UK manufacturing, stimulate success for manufacturing businesses and help them to meet their objectives and goals, empower individuals and inspire the next generation.

Visit Make UK's website

Maritime UK SW

A public, private, research partnership focusing on the Great South West dedicated to increasing the marine and maritime economy. Maritime UK South West brings together a network of South West partners to develop and promote four overlapping and complimentary world class marine centres of excellence with the potential to exploit global market opportunities and create transformational economic growth for the region.

  • Offshore Renewable Energy
  • Autonomy & Geospatial Data
  • Marine Manufacturing
  • Ocean Technology & Aquaculture

Visit Maritime UK South West's website

National Catapult Network

The Catapult Network brings together nine leading technology and innovation centres spanning over 50 locations across the UK. Catapults are physical centres with cutting-edge R&D infrastructures including hubs, laboratories, testbeds, factories and offices, as well as technical experts that prove and adopt breakthrough products, processes, services and technologies. Catapults work with thousands of innovative businesses across a wide range of sectors, such as manufacturing, space, health, digital, energy, transport, telecoms, the urban environment and many others. 
The very best of the UK’s businesses, scientists, technical specialists and engineers work side by side on late-stage research and development, helping industry get high potential ideas to market, fuelling business growth, and increasing productivity.

Visit Catapult Network's website

National Composites Centre

The National Composites Centre (NCC) is an independent, open-access technology centre delivering world-class research and development of composites. As part of the UK’s Catapult Network, we offer our partners access to the latest technology, provide technical expertise and the business support they need to overcome barriers to innovation and accelerate their growth.

Visit National Composites Centre's website

South West Aerospace Cluster

South West Aerospace, the UK’s largest aerospace cluster is a collaboration between the South West Local Enterprise Partnerships (Cornwall, Heart of the South West, Dorset, Gloucestershire and the West of England).

Visit South West Aerospace Cluster's website

South West Manufacturing Advisory Service (SWMAS)

Since 2002, SWMAS Ltd has been delivering hands on support, impartial advice and expert guidance to around 8500 manufacturers across the South West, of which over 1000 are based in Dorset. SWMAS assists manufacturing firms of all sizes, in numerous industries including advanced engineering, aerospace, construction, electronics, food & drink, marine, medical and nuclear.

With a wealth of industry experience and technical knowledge, SWMAS’ Manufacturing Specialists work with businesses to identify their individual needs and design a bespoke package of support to help them achieve measurable, operational improvements. A wide range of services are available, including business strategy, productivity improvement, innovation, workforce development, net zero, digital transformation and supply chain optimisation.

SWMAS also carries out a quarterly Manufacturing Barometer, the largest survey of SME manufacturers in England. This uncovers the challenges and opportunities across the sector, which is used to campaign for support and align service offers.

Visit SWMAS's website

South West Regional Defence & Security Cluster (SWRDSC) 

The SWRDSC is the first pan-Defence and Security cluster in the UK. It forms a collaboration led by industry and academia with the support of government and its ministerial departments such as the MOD and its innovation directorate, and the Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA). The cluster seeks to aggregate and raise the profile of regional D&S capability to stimulate greater sector knowledge, business, economic growth and productivity across the South West region. It will attract businesses of all scales with an interest in D&S to deliver new sector and cross-sector capability. It aims to apply a ‘Team UK’ approach to enable more joined up working between industry, academia and government, providing an efficient and accessible route to industry curation and the region’s D&S value chain.

Visit SWRDSC's website

West of England Aerospace Forum (WEAF)

The West of England Aerospace Forum (WEAF) is a membership trade organisation that is passionate about all aspects of aerospace, defence and advanced manufacturing. The member and partner base represent a very wide spectrum – from SMEs to global corporations.

Visit WEAF's website