Frequently Asked Questions

What does the UKDSC do?

The UKDSC is an established, independent entity, bringing together the best minds from across defence at the pre-competitive, collaborative stage. To create innovative and world-beating products and services, UKDSC develops and assesses game-changing strategic capability road maps that will deliver the competitive advantage to the UK export market.

How does the UKDSC work?

The UKDSC has centralised the coordinating, collaborative and strategic planning function for Industry. It focuses on the pre-competitive phase, looking out across short, medium and long term requirements – a 15-year horizon – to understand customer needs. With this view, future products and services are shaped, leveraging the UK’s world-class defence capability, technology and skills.

How do roadmaps help the UKDSC improve defence exports?

The UKDSC roadmaps are constructed around areas of defence capability that have export potential. They identify the key capabilities required to deliver winning solutions to satisfy both established and anticipated customer needs in the future.

These roadmaps identify both the areas of strength within the UK value chain and areas where the UK needs to enhance its overall Research and Development (R&D) programme, so the UK is best-placed to secure future defence export opportunities.

How is the UKDSC resourced?

The UKDSC is jointly resourced by Industry and Government. It has a permanent central core of employees and additional subject matter experts drawn from Industry.

The UKDSC is staffed by an independent CEO with the vast majority of the team being provided by seconded staff from the 16 DGP partner companies.

What are the commercial arrangements for companies working in the UKDSC?

The UKDSC is looking at new business models to pull R&D through to market.

In contrast, the DGP is not looking at the nature of the commercial arrangements between customer and industry and is operating in line with the policy set out in the National Security through Technology White Paper.

How can Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) get involved in the UKDSC?

The UKDSC welcomes active participation from the UK value chain to create Communities of Interest (COI’s). These COI’s are related to roadmapping activities, a desire to stimulate participation in Innovation activities and to facilitate the identification Investment Funding opportunities.

The UKDSC’s website allows SMEs to register their capabilities, sign up to Communities of Interest and be part of the UKDSC activities.

If your organisation is interested in applying to be a member of a COI, download and complete this COI application form and return it to the UKDSC.

How do Communities of Interest (COI’s) work?

The CoIs are designed to be as flexible as possible. The “Sharpcloud” toolset is very powerful and, among other things, has an on-line comment and feedback facility; we aim to use this facility as much as possible. The aim for the COI’s is to be meeting light and action heavy.

What if I can’t fully participate in a CoI?

Being a member of a CoI requires a certain level of active participation, to ensure the regular low of information into the community. Yet the UKDSC understands this is not not always possible. So the UKDSC will reach out to CoI members who have not engaged for a while to make sure they are getting value from the community and vice versa.

Do I have to participate in a CoI to have access to the ICE Lab?

That would be preferable but not essential. The UKDSC regularly reviews heavy usage of the ICE Lab by companies that are not members of a CoI, and reserves the right to adjust that accordingly.

Do I have to participate in a CoI to have access to market information?

That would be preferable but not essential. The UKDSC regularly reviews frequent requests for market information by companies that are not members of a CoI, and reserves the right to review those requests accordingly.

Do I have to pay to become a member of a CoI?

No. You do not have to pay.

Do I have to visit the UKDSC to have access to market information?

Yes. Access is controlled, and users also have a better experience when they visit the UKDSC in person. A UKDSC team member will be able to help you access the market intelligence data base.

Can I leave a CoI?

Of course. The UKDSC is committed to all members of COI’s benefitting fully from their membership. The UKDSC would want to understand why, so appropriate lessons are learned and the experience for other members is improved.

What if I don’t have a great experience in a CoI?

The UKDSC will do everything it can to improve your experience, and if that experience is not living up to your expectations we want to hear about it as soon as possible. In that event, a UKDSC executive board member will be consulted and corrective measures will be put in place where possible.

How can I be assured that my IP will be protected?

The UKDSC does not seek to access, own or use company IP. It is the responsibility of each CoI member and/or Associate to protect their own information. This may be by being circumspect in the sharing of information or protecting it via and NDA.

I don’t have a security clearance; can I still join a CoI?

Yes, but please understand that your access may need to be managed in some cases.

I am not a UK citizen; can I still join a CoI?

That is dependent upon any constraints that the members of the CoI have put in place. Please talk to us directly about your specific situation.

My company is not based in the UK; can I still join a CoI?

That is unlikely, unless you have a subsidiary based in the UK.

Do I have to be a member of the Aerospace, Defence Security and Space Group (ADS) to be a member of a CoI or join as a UKDSC Associate?

No. The UKDSC actively seeks companies from adjacent markets.