Here at Thales in the UK, we’re innovators. In partnership with leaders in academia and industry we deliver ground-breaking research, cutting-edge design and transformative technology that drives growth in the UK and beyond.
We’re developing technology to disrupt and transform society as we know it. We have an unwavering focus on the critical strategic themes of our time; maintain a firm grip on trends and opportunities within our markets; and foster the right mix of skill, agility and appetite for risk and change within our teams. But vital to our success is the nurturing of our ideas through open innovation. By collaborating with academia, industry and innovation hubs, we’re able to anticipate and reduce technical and market risks, improve efficiency, and above all, solve our customers’ biggest strategic challenges.
Thales teams think differently. To maximise our innovative potential, our Research, Technology & Innovation team have developed Design Centres, a Thales platform dedicated to user-centred, design-driven innovation.
It’s initiatives like this that set Thales in the UK apart.
By collaborating with academia, industry and innovation hubs, we’re able to anticipate and reduce technical and market risks, improve efficiency, and above all, solve our customers’ biggest strategic challenges.
World-changing research and technology
Our dedication to building advanced technologies is embodied in Thales Research & Technology UK (TRT-UK), one of a global network of advanced research centres.
We’re leading a worldwide community of researchers to develop complete cutting-edge solutions for our wide ranging civil and defence customers, so that they can tackle the world’s toughest challenges – faster, and smarter.
TRT-UK innovates around four key topics: sensing, data fusion and analysis; advanced networking and communications; autonomous systems and complex systems.
Sensing, data fusion and analysis
At Thales Research & Technology UK we process and analyse data from new or existing sensors in order to develop algorithms that can sense and understand the environment better. Sensing, data fusion and analysis enables us to constantly improve the functionality and performance of our products and services.
Advanced networking and communications
The amount of data we generate each day is increasing rapidly. With such growth comes the need for better protection of our data networks and communications tools. We’re developing technologies for complex, professional communications and networking apps where security is paramount, and working to reduce the risks of emerging technological trends for our customers.
Autonomous systems are some of our most revered modern technologies. We’re working hard to characterise and verify their challenging and emergent behaviours in the context of security, trust and vulnerability, whilst developing reliable systems with multiple units that cater to our customers’ complex challenges.
We’re designing and delivering increasingly complex systems. Ensuring the security of systems involved in our research is a fundamental requirement of our work, but it is threatening to overwhelm the approaches we’re currently using. That’s why we’re researching and developing new technologies, methods, techniques, formalisms and skills that will improve our systems and operations and maximise our performance.
Sparking Bright Futures
To us, partnering with academic institutions on research projects and programmes makes sense in so many ways. Not only are some of the UK’s brightest minds given the opportunity to shine; we’re able to make strategic investments and attract the best new talent to Thales in the UK.
The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (ESPRC) has invested more than £146 million into research and doctoral training centres, and we’re proud to be involved. We’re educating students on our industry, showing them how our organisation works and inviting them to collaborate on live research projects.
The link below details some of our academic partners and the key research areas we’ve been working together on, as well as a selection of research programmes we’ve been involved in setting up.
Watch the video below to learn more about the benefits of collaboration between Universities and industry.
Small enterprises with big ideas
Some of the most agile and innovative companies in the country are small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).
We believe their contribution to the UK’s innovation ecosystem is great, so we partner with them to help maximise their potential and deliver outstanding solutions for our customers.
Touchpaper: bringing corporates and startups together
We’re proud to be a launch partner for Touchpaper, a new initiative making it easier for startups and corporates to collaborate. The organisation’s free online toolkit brings together best guidance from its founding members on strategy; communications and buy in; engagement and decision making; legal and procurement, for the benefit of both sides of a corporate-startup partnership.
Andy Nicholson, our Head of Open Innovation, explains what partnering with SMEs means to us at Thales in the UK.
The Search for Innovation: Opening Our Doors to SMEs
We’ve learnt that magic happens when the lines blur between work and play. That’s why we invest in regular team hackathons, innovation sprints and design sprints.
A design sprint brings a team together to address a big question around research and technology. At a two-day live design sprint at Farnborough International Air Show in 2016, we asked trade visitors: “what are the drivers for change that may disrupt the aviation industry?” The responses we received, which were largely focused around the softer social impacts of autonomy in aviation rather than the technology itself, led our team to two further questions: “how can we turn engineers into heroes?” and “how might we help the public trust autonomous systems?” We’re using the outputs from the Sprint to innovate around solutions for the aviation market’s needs.