An integration has been agreed between the Ministry of Defence’s (MoD) Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) and the Home Office’s Centre for Applied Science and Technology (CAST). This decision has been taken following a detailed review examining the best ways in which to provide “enduring and appropriate” science and technology support to the Home Office and the MoD.
The integration will improve the resilience of the science and technology support that makes such a major contribution to the nation’s defence, policing, security and resilience.
Commenting on the announcement, the DSTL’s CEO Jonathan Lyle said: “Combining our capabilities will improve the science and technology support for the MoD and the Home Office and enhance the nation’s defence and security. DSTL and CAST already work closely together on key projects such as forensics, body armour and detection systems. We intend to continue to build on this existing close working relationship to make the integration process a success.”
Andy Bell, the head of CAST, added: “This development will enable a more joined-up and coherent approach towards science and technology provision for security, policing and resilience in the UK. The move will mean that our customers have access to a wider range of scientific and engineering expertise across Government, industry and academia, giving broader access to innovative ideas and solutions. There’s a lot of hard work to be undertaken before we complete the move, and we’ll be providing full support to our staff throughout the transition period.”
The integration is expected to begin this year and end by 2020. CAST’s staff and day-to-day work and projects will now move to become part of DSTL, and be primarily based at Porton Down, near Salisbury.
An integration programme team will work jointly across DSTL and CAST to support the transfer of staff and capabilities during the transition period, ensuring continuity in support of national security, defence and policy.