A NEW centre for developing products for the defence industry has opened in Oakdale.

General Dynamics UK, which also opened a site in Newbridge in 2008, held a ceremony opening its new buildings on Thursday attended by Chris Evans MP.

The facility, run by EDGE UK, offers research and development for products in the defence industry, open to small businesses and academia.

They can access equipment and expertise to develop their ideas and products.

Chris Evans MP said: “The EDGE UK is a pioneering facility that opens doors to high-tech small businesses and to academia who would otherwise find a route to the defence market a significant challenge. Already there are innovations delivered through EDGE UK that are enhancing deployed capabilities for the UK Armed Forces, and today’s demonstrations show that innovations developed through EDGE UK continues apace.”

Edwina Hart, Welsh Government minister for economy, science and transport, said: “General Dynamics UK is a key partner for the Welsh Government as it promotes open innovation and collaboration amongst businesses and academia in Wales. It is one of our key Anchor companies, and I am delighted that they have opened a new EDGE UK facility, and have demonstrated their commitment to working collaboratively with small businesses and academia in Wales.”

Steve Rowbotham, chief operating officer at General Dynamics UK, said: “EDGE UK enables SMEs to gain a competitive advantage in developing their innovations rapidly into capability that can be fielded with the UK Armed Forces. This new facility in the heart of the Welsh Valleys will continue to build upon past EDGE UK successes to provide the innovations required by the UK Armed Forces.”

For more information about EDGE UK, visit www.the-edge-uk.co.uk