QinetiQ to boost commercial portfolio

The Ministry of Defence's privitised research arm QinetiQ has hired The RED Consultancy to boost its commercial client portfolio.

This is the first time QinetiQ - created last year as a private company taking over the work of the MoD's Defence Evaluation and Research Agency - has taken on agency support for promotion of the brand to a commercial audience.

RED deputy managing director Amanda Duncan says the campaign will include media relations in both sector specific publications and the national business pages, as well as events aimed at CEOs.

The first campaign, to launch next month, is called Test Us, inviting firms to challenge QinetiQ to solve business problems.

Key sectors being targeted are health, aviation, marine, telecoms and energy. RED will assist in promoting products such as a QinetiQ developed foetal heart monitor.

Head of external relations Joanna Sale said the current split between military and commercial customers is 80 per cent to 20 per cent.

'We want this to be 50-50 within five years,' she said.

Sale added that an announcement is due within weeks of details of a strategic partnership with private equity firm Carlisle, which is negotiating to take a 'significant minority stake' in the firm, which is currently wholly owned by the MoD. A plan to float the firm was put on hold earlier this year (PRWeek, 15 March).

Duncan said that any media interest in military technology surrounding possible conflict in Iraq would be handled by the MOD and is not part of the agency's brief.

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