First Company to Win Second Round Funding from MOD’s Dragon’s Den

Brighton, UK

Bubblephone Ltd., a communications software company, has been chosen from more than 1,000 applicants to be the first company to be awarded second round funding from the UK Ministry of Defence’s (MOD) Centre for Defence Enterprise (CDE). The Brighton-based company has received a contract valued at £43,000 to deliver a beta-version of its intelligent C-THRU network optimisation software. The technology has the potential to transform the reliability and quality of the MOD’s tactical communications network, while helping save lives and money.

This award underlines the value of CDE as a cost-effective way to access leading-edge technology and get it into the field quickly, said Sean Curtis-Ward, Bubblephone’s CEO. Also, it represents a strong endorsement for our adaptive software which we believe has huge commercial potential outside of the defence sector.

Since its inception 18 months ago, the CDE has received more that 1,000 proposals from companies—mainly small to medium-sized businesses. The initiative, which has been likened to TV’s Dragon’s Den, is designed to enable the MOD to exploit new and emerging technologies that are already being researched or developed and get them into the field rapidly. The MOD is interested in the use of C-THRU in its BOWMAN tactical military communications network—a mission critical system that contains different network types (such as VHF, UHF and satellite) and where transmission quality and reliability are paramount.

The new contract will involve Bubblephone delivering a beta-version of C-THRU with a view to its test, development and integration into BOWMAN. It will collaborate closely with General Dynamics UK, which will provide additional equipment and expertise.

In January 2009, Bubblephone received a feasibility contract from the CDE valued at £49,000. Work under the contract culminated in a demonstration in October 2009 of C-THRU on a special test network. Just three weeks later, C-THRU was further demonstrated to MOD staff on battlefield-ready kit over a subset of the BOWMAN tactical communications network. This was undertaken at the EDGE® UK demonstration suite at General Dynamics UK’s facility in South Wales.