Gosport defence specialists believe artificial intelligence is the future for technology

A DEFENCE manufacturing firm in Gosport hopes a new research centre will put it at the forefront of changing technologies, as it prepares to take on new employees.

Monday, 28th January 2019, 2:42 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th February 2019, 7:29 pm
From left, Jonathan Bowley, MD of STS Defence, Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage and Stuart Andrew, minister for defence procurement. Picture: David George

STS Defence in Mumby Road is opening a new research and technology centre at the end of the month, which the firm will use to provide more advanced tech for suppliers.

The company specialises in communications and intelligent systems for the defence, marine, aerospace and nuclear sectors.

Managing director Jonathan Bowley explained: ‘Traditionally we would just make what our customer told us to – but now the market has changed a lot.

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‘They are demanding more value to be added through research and improvement, so we invested into being able to do that.

‘The new centre will allow us to improve designs and support the technology we provide, as well as using the site to develop our own products and ideas.’

Mr Bowley believes that research and technology is the future for defence – saying that artificial intelligence is the way forward.

He said: ‘We see our future being in research and technology, hence the new centre being built.

‘I am really excited – we’ve been doing work with artificial intelligence and over the next couple of years we can involve that in a lot more of what we do.

‘That's something that I think will become increasingly popular so it’s important to be ahead of the curve.’

This expansion will also lead to the creation of new jobs and apprenticeships, of which Mr Bowley is a huge advocate.

He said: ‘Local apprenticeships are how a business grows – and they are so important for keeping people in work in Gosport.

‘We expect that there will be at least 10 more jobs created, and hopefully that will grow year-on-year.

‘People traditionally commute from Gosport to work, so it’s a case of getting them to stay in the town to work instead.’

Taking a tour of the new centre, which is due to open in February, was Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage, and minister for defence procurement, Stuart Andrew MP.

Ms Dinenage said: ‘Business advances like this are vital – Gosport has the second lowest job density in the country, so skilled employment opportunities like this are very attractive.

‘The artificial intelligence is so exciting; we have a great reputation here for high-end engineering and defence support, and this is another example of that.’

Mr Andrew added: ‘Places like this are hugely important. Technology is great for us but could also be a threat if we don’t keep pace, so companies like STS Defence are a key part of our defence infrastructure.’