Lincolnshire is home to one of the UK's most significant networks of ISTAR (Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance) businesses. Our defence and security supply chain has been formed over decades at the heart of RAF operations.

Lincolnshire is home to the RAF's Air and Space Warfare Centre (ASWC), Air Battlespace Training Centre, MOD Joint Cyber and Electromagnetic Activities group.

With secure, large-scale military sites, extensive permitted air space, a low population density, and supportive communities, Greater Lincolnshire offers the ideal environment for defence businesses including:

  • technology research and development
  • innovation
  • testing and evaluation

The GLRDSC builds on the established ISTAR capabilities at RAF Waddington and within businesses supporting the RAF, combined with the University of Lincoln's leading-edge digital and information technology expertise, providing multiple collaboration and problem-solving opportunities.

The Defence and Security Sector Investment Opportunity

Our goals

The Greater Lincolnshire Regional Defence & Security Cluster (GLRDSC) provides the opportunity for businesses operating in or contributing to this sector to draw on Government funding to develop ideas, innovations and new products.

The Government intends that these regional clusters 'pull through' RD&I investment into cutting-edge equipment, creating deployable national security capabilities and future commercial opportunities.

Using the expertise and innovation of small and medium sized businesses will support defence capabilities centred on regional security assets.

The RDSCs will allow industry and Government to share ideas and create collaborative pathways for SMEs, working with prime contractors as a route into the defence supply chain.

These clusters are Defence & Security Accelerator (DASA)-approved, as announced in the MOD's Defence Industrial Strategy published in March 2021. 

Our priorities

In Greater Lincolnshire, the cluster's focus will be on using information to make successful military decisions. In practice, this means developing technologies for the management, storage, manipulation, fusion, wrangling, analysis and visualisation of data for decision support.

There will also be a need to use communication technologies to securely transmit data, decisions and instructions, and the synthetics and simulation capabilities needed to support the training and operation of complex information and intelligence systems.

These technologies apply to all defence domains, including space, which is of central importance in security and communications.

Business digitalisation and industry 4.0 / 5.0 technologies are additional priorities based on advanced expertise within the University of Lincoln and local companies.

These themes will enable performance improvements within defence businesses, supply chains, and their products and services.

Key actions are to:

  • forge links with those working in advanced engineering and data science in other sectors locally;
  • connect to the heart of the UK's low carbon energy production along the Humber;
  • invite key individuals from the Ministry of Defence (MOD) and the sector to set out challenges for the network;
  • provide updates and information on opportunities for collaboration;
  • highlight available funding and other opportunities to members, increasing the level of Government research, development and innovation (RD&I) funding invested in our region.


The GLRDSC has a Steering Group to provide leadership to the network and guide its work plan. The Steering Group is enacted through the Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership Defence and Security Advisory Board, chaired by Julian Free CBE.

The role of the Steering Group is to:

  • Represent the GLRDSC membership and act as Ambassadors to promote its activity and value proposition.
  • Provide leadership and strategic guidance to its development, programmes, activity and standing.
  • Agree spend of membership fees and other funding on activities to promote and enhance the GLRDSC.
  • Agree the governance structure and procedures of the GLRDSC.

To find out more please read our GLRDSC Charter.