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The University of Southampton

Signing up to a stronger relationship with Dstl

Published: 17 September 2019
Dstl signing
President and VC (interim) Prof Mark Spearing with Mr Simon Earwicker, Head of CBR Sciences at Dstl

The University of Southampton has signed a strategic relationship agreement with the Government’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) to forge a stronger working partnership.

The strategic relationship will identify mutually beneficial research and training opportunities.

Members of Dstl visited Southampton (11 September) to sign and celebrate the relationship agreement which builds on the strong ties between Dstl and the University while providing a platform to progress these into the future.

Professor Mark Spearing , President and Vice-Chancellor (interim), said: “Partnerships like this are all about mutual benefit. To sustain the relationship, the most precious resource is time – spending time together and working well together. I am committed to making sure we continue to meet regularly with the right people at Dstl. I am delighted we have got to this point, and I look forward to really making it work for mutual benefit.”

This strategic relationship will explore areas of cooperation such as facilities, people and research programme collaboration. From a joint Dstl and University of Southampton perspective, this will not only provide a mechanism for working together, but will also enable our University and Dstl to maximise opportunities for research impact towards UK prosperity and wider societal benefit.

Professor Peter Smith, from the University’s Zepler Institute , said: “This agreement is a big step – it is setting out a way of working together and identifying opportunities on both sides. The agreement is a shared strategic focus. We will look at how we can align our research with Dstl; look at opportunities for collaborative research and collaborative doctoral training; and seek out opportunities for secondments and visiting lecturers.”

Speaking at the event, Mr Simon Earwicker, Head of the Chemical, Biological and Radiological (CBR) Sciences Division at Dstl, said: “Dstl values its collaboration with universities. Being here today and witnessing the joint areas of focus between Dstl and the University of Southampton, it makes a lot of sense for this strategic Dstl-Southampton relationship to have been formalised. Indeed the geographic position of some of the Dstl sites and the University is advantageous, with Dstl at senior level being committed to the growth and success of this relationship.”

Professor Petra Oyston, Dstl Technical Fellow, Molecular Microbiology and Synthetic Biology, said: “Working with the University of Southampton is a no-brainer for us. It has fantastic quality of teaching and research. We have a strong history of collaborating which we will be building upon.”

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