Wiltshire has a tradition of defence-related research and manufacturing with a strong concentration of businesses in this field. The largest employers in this sector include QinetiQ, which is involved in aerospace research, and the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) at the growing Porton Down Science Campus. In recognition of the potential of the Campus, there are proposals for a science park to support spinout companies.
Another major defence-related manufacturer is Chemring Countermeasures, based at High Post near Salisbury. Chemring is the world’s leader in protecting air and naval platforms from the threats posed by heat-seeking and radar controlled missiles.
The automotive and rail systems sectors are well represented in Wiltshire. Invensys Rail based in Chippenham is a multinational technology leader, providing state-of-the-art software based signalling, communication and control systems. Knorr-Bremse, based in Melksham, is the world’s leading manufacturer of braking systems for rail and commercial vehicles. Another significant supplier to the automotive market, Korean owned DTR VMS, is based in Trowbridge. DTR VMS specialises in products to address noise and vibration to improve vehicle comfort.
Wiltshire’s innovators are thriving in international markets. Dyson, world famous suppliers of innovative vacuum cleaners, fans, heaters and hand dryers, has its HQ in Malmesbury, Wiltshire, and employs 350 engineers at its Research, Design and Development Centre in the town.