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24 Aug 2023

DSEI’s DisTec Trails 2023 – Sponsored by Defence Engage

DSEI’s DisTec Trails 2023 – Sponsored by Defence Engage


Defence Engage is sponsoring the debut of DisTec Trails, a new way to discover innovative small-medium enterprises (SMEs) at DSEI 12-15 September 2023. Defence Engage, the dynamic new networking platform serving the Defence and Aerospace sector, specialises in enhancing the discoverability of SMEs and facilitating access to decision-makers, via algorithms that match supplier capabilities with buyer requirements as well as in-person and digital events. The trails highlight SME disruptive technologies that could provide primes and procurement partners with new capabilities and ultimately give front-line users the edge they need in a more contested and volatile world.

The DisTec Trails will make it easier for DSEI attendees to find pioneering SMEs specialising in areas on course for rapid growth:

  • AI & Autonomy
  • Communications
  • Medical
  • Optics & Sensors
  • Propulsion
  • Training
  • Data Analysis

Register to Defence Engage

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AI and autonomy can be indispensable to enhance decision-making, surveillance, and even combat capabilities. From autonomous drones to AI-driven predictive analytics, these firms are key players in optimising resource allocation and adapting to rapidly changing scenarios.

What’s trending?

Trends in AI and autonomy include the integration of machine learning, new forms of computer interfacing, and natural language processing into defence systems, as well as advancements in autonomous vehicles and robotics.

Defence Engage members featured on this trail include:

  • Oxford Dynamics (SP13)

Oxford Dynamics is an award-winning deep-tech start-up focussing on disruptive AI and novel robotic platforms for security and defence communities. The company has developed a modular and containerised AI-based powerful data interrogation tools. They are based at the RAL Science & Technology Campus, Harwell, Oxfordshire, and are currently self-funded from a mixture of contract wins together with R&D grant funding support from DASA and DSTL.

  • Adarga (H1-831)

Adarga is a British AI leader specialising in information intelligence. Its software enables organisations to identify threats and opportunities buried within huge volumes of information - extracting and connecting millions of data points and presenting them in comprehensible formats. A force-multiplier for analysts and researchers, it informs better, faster decision-making.

  • Advai (H1-428)

Advai is a UK leader in automated tooling for Testing, Evaluating, Red Teaming and Assuring AI systems. Founded in 2020 with a core team from Government, Industry and Academia, they have rapidly established themselves within UK Defence and Security. Their technology is the key to determining when AI is Robust, Safe and Secure. The company identifies and understands why AI systems succeed and fail and provides this insightful capability to clients.

  • Hadean (H2-130)

Hadean enables defence systems integrators to build next generation defence and security capabilities to help their military clients train, plan and prepare for ever-more complex threats above and below the threshold of conflict. Hadean's technology enables scale, security and interoperability across live, virtual and constructive (LVC) training systems. Hadean’s involvement in these technologies, alongside machine learning and AI, see it well placed to help make multi-domain integration a reality.

  • Helsing (H2-122)

Helsing provides AI and software platforms tailored to the specific demands of the battlefield. Helsing’s products can be deployed across multiple platforms and domains, significantly speeding up the sensor-decider-effector functional chain, and with far greater accuracy than is currently possible. Helsing is a Defence AI company. We believe that software, in particular artificial intelligence (AI), will be the key to protecting our democracies and deterring our adversaries. Helsing is a pan-European, multi-domestic company, building sovereign capability with national entities in Germany, the UK and France. Helsing and its partner Saab Germany have recently been selected by the German Ministry of Defence to upgrade 15 of the Luftwaffe’s Eurofighters with AI-enabled cognitive electronic warfare (EW) capabilities for future SEAD missions. The programme is scheduled to be ratified by the German Parliament later this year. 

Other participants:

Shield AI (H8-327), Clear Align (H7-321), Helsing (H2-122), Altana (H1-690), and Methods Analytics (H1-274).



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Reliable communication is the backbone of any effective defence operation. Companies in this category provide the vital infrastructure and technologies that enable secure, real-time communication among military personnel and devices. They are instrumental in ensuring that data is transmitted securely and without interruption, even in hostile environments.

What’s trending?

Emerging trends include the development of low-earth orbit satellite networks, quantum-secure communication, and 5G technology for military applications.

Defence Engage members featured on this trail include:

  • KLAS Group (H1-556)

Klas is an engineering and design company with over 30 years of experience developing innovative communications solutions for the network edge. Klas collaborates with major strategic partners including Cisco, Dell, and Microsoft to support edge deployments in Government, Transportation, and Automotive industries.

  • Chronos Technology (H2-681)

Chronos specialises in all things GNSS, including GPS repeaters bringing the signal inside, ground-breaking GPS underground solutions, GPS jamming detectors, GNSS simulators, asset tracking and resilient positioning, navigation, and timing solutions. They also offer expert GNSS installations and have installed several GPS repeater systems for military hangars. The company recently supplied a GPS repeater system for Bombardier’s new hangar at London Biggin Hill.

  • Ampex Data Systems Corporation (H8-414)

Ampex specialises in delivering rugged, tailorable hardware platforms for data acquisition and processing. Their systems can handle any data type at high speeds and with large storage capacities. As a result, they offer exceptional support and the lowest-risk combination of hardware and software solutions for capturing, processing, storing, hosting, and securing high-value data for defence and beyond.

  • Blu Wireless (H1-436)

Blu Wireless's IEEE 5G broadband networking equipment provides robust and covert LPI/LPD gigabit edge processing for communication networking across IoT for the military. 5G for the defence sector is radically different from 5G for commercial consumer use. Defence and public safety private networks require significantly more reliability and cannot afford a single point of failure, which is where Blu Wireless’ solutions come in.

  • INVISIO Communications (H1-805)

INVISIO is a global market leader in tactical communication and hearing protection systems that enable professionals in noisy and mission-critical environments to communicate and work effectively, while protecting their hearing. INVISIO’s digitalisation of traditional systems continues to modernise communications in the battlefield and bridges the gap between audio and data, creating a fast, agile, and data-driven solution for dismounted troops on the ground.

  • Pexip (H1-150)

Pexip is a video technology company supporting complex and demanding customer collaboration needs. The company was founded with the idea of bringing down the barriers that exist in the video technology world; they are interop experts, with technology that is able to operate in the most challenging and high security environments. Recent Pexip defence deployments include tactical communications within armoured platoons, connecting global engineering teams for aerospace customers, and classified meeting platforms for US DOD.

Other participants:

Invisio Communications (H1-805), Codan Communications (H2-218), Persistent Systems (H8-213), Barrett Communications (H1-246) and Virtru (H8-229).



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The sustained health and well-being of military personnel is paramount. Medical companies in the defence sector play a crucial role in developing advanced medical devices, trauma care, and telemedicine solutions. These technologies not only save lives on the battlefield but also contribute to the overall readiness of the armed forces.

What’s trending?

Trends include the integration of AI in diagnostics, wearable health monitoring, and advanced telehealth platforms for remote consultations in hard-to-reach environments.

Defence Engage members featured on this trail include:

  • INMM (H1-296)

INMM® integrates technologies and devices with high innovative content in the field of Healthcare Technology and HSE. The company is a direct supplier of the Italian Armed Forces (Air Force, Army and Navy), Ministry of Defence (UK) and some ASL (Local Health Authorities) and Regional Public Administrations; it is also a registered NATO supplier.

  • Peli Biothermal (H1-370)

Peli Biothermal’s technology has been trusted for more than 15 years, by to transport pharmaceuticals, tissues, biologics, diagnostics, vaccines, blood supplies and more securely, reliably and safely from anywhere in the world to where personnel need it most. Peli BioThermal's patented Golden Hour' technology received the US Army's Greatest Invention Award in 2003.

Other participants include:

HDT Global, Cambcol (H1-419), Medtrade (H1-373), Milliken & Company, Optima Technic, Teleflex Europe, Visbion, Ortus Group (H1-418), and Health Tech & Pharmaceutical.



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Situational awareness is a crucial capability to maintain in defence, and optics and sensor companies provide the eyes and ears of modern military operations. Innovations include night vision systems, radar technology, and advanced sensors for detecting chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear threats.

What’s trending?

Current trends in this field involves the miniaturisation of sensors, improved data fusion capabilities, and the development of multi-sensor platforms for comprehensive threat detection.

Defence Engage members featured on this trail include:

  • Bertin Exensor (H2-710)

Bertin Exensor is currently the world-leading supplier of Unattended Ground Sensors, a niche market that is expanding at a fast pace. The company has already delivered Flexnet to more than 20 nations worldwide, mostly for Armed Forces in Europe (such as Sweden, Germany, Netherlands and Romania). The company recently signed a major contract with the German Armed Forces worth more than €20 million euros for the supply of the Flexnet system.

  • Nautel Sonar (H8-531)

Nautel Sonar excels in designing, developing, and manufacturing cutting-edge sonar systems and sub-systems. Their clientele ranges from international defence entities to non-defence customers. They have been supporting the HMS and VDS sonars on the Royal Swedish Navy’s Visby class corvettes since they launched in 2000. Nautel is currently in partnership with General Dynamics Mission Systems, delivering 12 HMS systems to the Royal Canadian Navy’s Halifax class frigate “ Underwater Warfare Suite Upgrade (UWSU)” programme.

  • Echodyne (H1-807)

Echodyne is a US innovator and manufacturer of a new type of commercial radar built on an innovative antenna design with extraordinary Tx/Rx cell density and ultra-low SWaP – metamaterials electronically scanned array (MESA). Echodyne radars create a new data foundation built on innovations in dense, tight beamforming and powerful signal processing software. Integrated by Northrop Grumman as a targeting radar on their Bushmaster Gun Truck for its reliable accuracy.

  • Alker Fibre Optic Specialists (H2-283)

Alker, established in 1985, is proud to be one of the oldest Fibre optic solution providers and Fibre Optic Terminations houses in the UK. As a small independent fibre optic solutions provider, they adapt quickly to the growing demands of customers, offering fast turnaround capability without compromising on quality (ISO 9001:2015 accredited). Alker continues to support many of the most respected primes across multiple industries such as Defence, Aerospace, Space, Marine, Transport, Renewable Energy, Oil & Gas, Medical and Nuclear.

  • E-Tint (H8-310)

e-Tint technology was designed for use by the United States military, and is now available in eyewear, goggles and visors for soldiers and civilians who require precision optics every step of the way. Leveraging proprietary liquid crystal technology, e-Tint® is the world’s fastest transitional eyewear, bar none. A single e-Tint lens will transform from light to dark, or dark to light, in less than 0.1 second.

Other participants include:

Edge Autonomy (H1-344), Ansys (H1-400), Black River Systems Company (H8-234), ICEYE Oy (H7-323), Lightpath Technologies (H7-322), Herrick Technology Laboratories (H8-839), dspnor, and SIONYX.



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Mobility and speed have long been a key area of competition for defence developers. Propulsion companies develop cutting-edge engines, propulsion systems, and energy solutions for military vehicles and aircraft. They enhance the agility and range of military assets, enabling rapid deployment and manoeuvrability.

What’s trending?

Emerging trends include the development of sustainable propulsion systems, hypersonic technology, and electric and hybrid solutions to reduce environmental impact.

Defence Engage members featured on this trail include:

  • Fairbanks Morse Defense (H5-324)

Fairbanks Morse Defense has built the reputation as a premier supplier of best in class naval technologies, OEM Parts, and turn-key services. FMD, was founded more than 100 years ago, has a long history of providing an array of OEM products and technologies, all from a single, trusted source. FMD is redefining the technological limits of Maritime Defence to help better protect the Freedom of the Seas.

  • Reaction Engines (H2-576)

Reaction Engines is a privately held technology company pioneering space access and sustainable technologies. Reaction Engines has been at the forefront of engineering innovation for over 30 years, principally developing SABRE, a revolutionary new class of aerospace propulsion. The Company is supported by the UK Space Agency and European Space Agency and the US team is working with DARPA, US Air Force and leading Industry Partners.

  • Drive System Design (H4-451)

Drive System Design (DSD) specialises in the development of electrified propulsion, actuation and associated technologies, in the early TRL level, or alpha, prototype phase, providing engineering services. DSD is simulation-lead, so they virtually validate before ever building a real prototype. This means they can deliver faster and provide first time capable solutions for our partners. DSD work on major programmes, including a major global defence ground vehicle OEM in defining their electrification strategy and supporting architecture definition for early proof of concept tracked vehicles.

  • Timoney Technology (H4-546)

Timoney Technology are leading experts in ride and handling for Heavy Duty Vehicles. In business since 1967, over 100 different vehicle types in more than 30 countries use solutions developed by Timoney. They recently launched their next generation of independent suspension systems, the JAWS™ portfolio, offering enhanced modularity, improved performance and an electric drive variant, the TIS9e. To complement the TIS9e hardware, Timoney developed proprietary software to help OEMs determine EV performance, battery sizing and range. Heavy-duty and off-highway vehicle manufacturers now have a route to an easier transition to meeting their sustainability goals.

  • Jacobs (H7-628)

Jacobs are challenging today to reinvent tomorrow by solving the world's most critical problems for thriving cities, resilient environments, mission-critical outcomes, operational advancement, scientific discovery and cutting-edge manufacturing, turning abstract ideas into realities that transform the world for good. They have supported the defence sector for over 60 years. They offer an extensive range of programme support capabilities to defence agencies, including the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD), United States Department of Defense, Australian Department of Defence and several other worldwide defence sector service suppliers.

Other participants include:

Epsilor (H4-701), Missiles & Space Batteries (H2-862), Enersys Advanced Systems, Kale Arge (H3-404), Nova Electric (H8-432), and NP Aerospace.


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Effective training is the foundation of a competent and agile military. Training companies employ immersive technologies like virtual reality and augmented reality to simulate realistic scenarios, enhancing soldiers' skills and decision-making abilities. They also develop advanced training curricula and methodologies to adapt to the ever-changing nature of warfare.

What’s trending?

Current trends include AI-driven personalised training, augmented, virtual and mixed reality training, and remote training solutions for distributed forces.

Defence Engage members featured on this trail include:

  • Inzpire (H7-507)

Inzpire employs highly experienced ex-military personnel who work alongside specialist defence engineers and business professionals to deliver operationally credible products, training and consultancy services to customers in the air, land, maritime, space and cyber domains. Inzpire recently signed a memorandum of understanding with AERALIS. As part of the MoU, Inzpire and AERALIS will collaborate to develop a common mission system architecture which will deliver an advanced operational training concept to meet the requirements of future aviation customers.

  • Eagle Eye Innovations (EEI) (H6-141)

EEI specialises in Uncrewed Aircraft Systems (UAS) training, turn-key operational services, enhanced security services, independent consultancy including T&E, trials management and regulatory support, and R&D for commercial and defence customers globally, across weight classes; from sub-25kg through to Medium-Altitude Long-Endurance (MALE) systems. EEI is built on industry-leading ex-Military UAS expertise and qualifications, which is underpinned by years of experience flying crewed ISR platforms. Additionally, EEI is one of the longest running UK CAA Recognised Assessment Entities (RAE) accredited to provide drone training and assessment on behalf of the CAA. The EEI TOC is a vehicle agnostic, mobile, command, control, and communications (C3) node supporting the UAS operator and connecting valuable intelligence to the command chain, driving decision making. Version 2 of the EEI TOC was developed in Q1 2023 and delivered to a UK integrator in support of an MOD user.

  • AERCO (H6-183)

Aerco was established in 1956, this family-owned business, based in West Sussex, has built a storied legacy as a leading stockist and distributor of electronic components. With a history spanning several decades, this company has earned a well-deserved reputation as a trusted partner in the industry. They proudly hold franchises with over 30 of the largest and most esteemed component manufacturers, consistently delivering top-tier products and unparalleled service to their valued clients, cementing their position as a reliable force in the world of electronic components.

  • Conducttr (H1-828)

Conducttr provides crisis exercising software for engaging, realistic experiences to corporates and consultants, humanitarian organisations and defence and security clients. For defence and security the software provides a high-fidelity synthetic information environment ideal for a wide range of exercises involving hybrid warfare, information & media operations, StratCom, OSINT, cyber, CIMIC, homeland security, counter-terrorism and humanitarian disaster relief.

  • NIC Instruments (H1-151)

NIC Instruments develops equipment to support organisations involved in the defeat of Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) including Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) as well as all forms of unexploded ordnance from conventional munitions to legacy minefields. The equipment they manufacture helps teams search out and render safe those devices, thus ensuring the continued safety of both those involved in the defeat of the threat and the public, resulting in a safer world for all.

Other participants on the include:

Bluedrop Training and Simulation (H8-556), MXR Tactics (H4-123), Glenair (H7-510), 4C Strategies (H4-421), and Ultimate Training Munitions.



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In the era of information warfare, data analytics is a critical asset. Companies specialising in data analytics provide the tools and expertise needed to gather, process, and derive actionable insights from vast amounts of data. This is essential for intelligence, cybersecurity, and strategic decision-making.

What’s trending?

Key trends in this field include the use of big data analytics, machine learning, and artificial intelligence for predictive analysis and threat identification.

Defence Engage members featured on this trail include:

  • Bold Analytics (H1-114)

Bold Analytics’ unique combination of real-time sensors and data analytics is a sixth-sense for their clients, helping them monitor and analyse metrics like never before. Their experienced team of Data Science professionals and elite Intelligence experts are reinforced by the support of one of the largest reputable holding companies in Israel with diverse and international large-scale businesses.

  • IMRSV Data Labs (H8-522)

IMRSV works with defence, public safety, law enforcement, and national security organisations to accelerate mission-critical decision making with analytical tools, automations, and game-changing machine learning capabilities. They solve difficult problems in order to deliver high-impact products to their customers. Whether they are enhancing enterprise-wide information management and analysis functions or delivering new state-of-the-art machine learning capabilities, they’re tackling the big, challenging missions that others often avoid.

  • NIAXO  (H1-460)

NIAXO is a contemporary UK technical innovation company, developing bespoke solutions and technical engineering services which provide customised insights for clients in the data analysis, data governance and data science ecosystems. Through digital business transformation NIAXO delivers solutions to enable ethical and governed data insight. NIAXO is currently working on three Defence and Security Accelerator projects, looking at synthetic data and scenario modelling for justifiable decision making, and electronic security for secure environments.

  • Fenix Insight (H1-266)

Fenix Insight stands out through its unique fusion of real-world experience, cutting-edge artificial intelligence (AI) and open-source intelligence (OSINT). This dynamic integration provides defence professionals with unparalleled precision and depth when assessing and monitoring the use of munitions in historical and current global conflict zones. Fenix Insight’s core specialisation revolves around harnessing advanced artificial intelligence (AI) alongside open-source intelligence (OSINT) to provide exhaustive analyses of global conflict zones and the use of munitions.

Other participants include:

Intergraph (H8-603), Saildrone (H8-133), Elasticsearch (H1-560), and Techmodal (H2-200).


The importance of SMEs in Defence

SMEs are widely recognised as being crucial to transforming defence solutions; the European Commission states that SMEs are ‘key enablers of innovation and growth’, and the UK MOD Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) claims that that ‘at least 50% of the scientific and technical ideas which DASA assesses to be desirable, feasible and viable come from SMEs’. The DisTec Trails at DSEI enables show visitors to quickly find such innovative SMEs, and showcase those that are driving progress in fields from AI and autonomy through to communications and training. Defence Engage's sponsorship of DisTec at DSEI 2023 compliments its mission to enhance the discoverability of SMEs and facilitate access to key decision-makers.

DSEI takes place 12-15th September 2023, Excel London. Register to attend at:


Register to Defence Engage


DisTec Trails at DSEI 2023

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