The Defence Growth Partnership (DGP) is reporting at the Farnborough International Airshow on a number of successful initiatives which are enabling the UK’s defence industry to grow and increase its share of global export market opportunities. These include:
- Capability roadmaps which identify tangible actions to develop UK capability and meet export customers’ needs
- The Team UK approach, a new way in which UK companies of all sizes are working together to win orders in competitive export markets
- Showcasing the winners of the DGP Innovation Challenge
- Ultra Electronics Limited announced as a new UK Defence Solutions Centre associate member.
UK Defence Solutions Centre
The launch of capability roadmaps represents a successful milestone for the UK Defence Solutions Centre (DSC).
Opened last year, the UK DSC brings together the best minds from across the industry to work in a pre-competitive, collaborative space. Roadmaps assimilate customer need with UK capability, in order to position the UK for future success by stimulating investment to fill gaps, and develop new products and services to bring to market:
- For SMEs, roadmaps provide a better view of market opportunities and how to exploit them
- For larger companies roadmaps demonstrate the value of collaboration in meeting customer needs
- International customers gain confidence in the ability of the UK’s complete value chain to develop solutions.
Minister for Defence Procurement, Philip Dunne MP said: “The Farnborough Air Show again marks another milestone in the development of the Defence Growth Partnership as it works to ensure the UK remains at the forefront of the global defence market. Britain is home to a highly innovative defence sector with companies of all sizes making a significant contribution to our nation’s security and prosperity, clearly demonstrated today through the latest DGP Innovation Challenge winners.”
UK SMEs and larger companies are able to get involved and benefit from these roadmaps by joining UK DSC Communities of Interest on priority themes, including:
- UK Defence Communications
- Situational Awareness & Air Intelligent Systems
- Unmanned Air Systems.
The UK DSC is also reviewing a range of other priority themes for developing UK capabilities including: combat air, aircraft upgrade, underwater systems and force protection.
Business Minister Anna Soubry, Co-chair of the Defence Growth Partnership (DGP) said: “The UK defence industry is a world leader and this joint industry and government partnership is helping UK companies be more competitive in the global market and win more business. By working together and focusing on what the customer needs, we can develop the skills, products and services that make us successful and attractive for inward investment. Britain is open for business and the DGP will help keep the UK at the forefront of an extremely competitive market.”
Allan Cook, Industry Co-Chair of the DGP said: “The Defence Growth Partnership is building on the tremendous momentum it achieved in the first phases; it has delivered on early initiatives and these are enabling the next phase of delivery for growth across the industry. One of the first of these initiatives was to strengthen UKTO DSO, and as a result export markets are being strategically identified and the industry is seeing higher success rates in those areas.
“I feel very proud of the work of the 16 member companies, with their supply chains, and the Government in collaborating to ensure the UK benefits from a strong defence sector. We are dependent on exports for growth but our competition is fierce. Through the DGP we are taking a unique proposition to the international market, our Team UK approach means we capture opportunities by presenting customers with a straightforward route into the value chain.”
Team UK approach
Through the Defence Growth Partnership, international customers benefit from a Team UK approach and a collaborative response to developing a solution. It serves as a highly efficient route to accessing the UK’s complete value chain. Being part of Team UK provides companies with wider access to market opportunities; they also gain from the advantages that close working deliver in terms of generating innovation.
An example of Team UK success is the launch of a £4 million phased programme to offer next generation of anti-ship missiles – Sea Venom and the Lightweight Multi-role Missile (LMM) – onto maritime helicopters, capturing a valuable export opportunity for UK industry. The UK DSC, along with industry partners including MBDA, QinetiQ, General Dynamics and Thales, with the direct support of the Royal Navy and MOD, identified that there was an opportunity for oversees users of maritime helicopters to maintain their anti-surface capabilities against modern threats.
During the Farnborough International Airshow, Defence Ministers will be meeting the winners of the DGP Innovation Challenges to see the progress they’ve made. The three challenges on Persistent Surveillance from the Air, Immersive Mission Training, and Autonomy and Big Data for Defence have been run in a unique partnership between the MOD’s Centre for Defence Enterprise and the UK Defence Solution Centre. The challenges have highlighted a number highly innovative Small and Medium Sized Enterprises, like Close Air Solutions, based in Bristol, who are developing solutions to support the UK Armed Forces but where there a growing international market for a UK solution.
Engagement Strategy & Membership Model
The UKDSC gives every part of the UK value chain the opportunity to be part of a step change in how industry, government and academia work together as ‘Team UK’. In addition to the DGP Founders there are three further levels of membership and engagement:
UKDSC Associate membership – which offers suitably qualified enterprises to be able to participate fully in the full spectrum of UKDSC activity including market intelligence, capability roadmapping, developing interventions, innovation and formulating Team UK propositions.
- UKDSC Communities of Interest – which offer a wide array of SMEs and academia the ability to share knowledge and insights to help develop capability roadmaps and interventions that improve market positioning.
- Wider UK value chain engagement – simple registration through the UKDSC website enables every part of the UK value chain the opportunity to learn about the work of the UKDSC, its strategy and gain insight to some of its outputs.
The UKDSC announced that Ultra Electronics Limited became the first UKDSC Associate member on 11th July. It is anticipate that further companies and academic institutions will be joining in the near future.
Notes to Editors
On the maritime helicopter / Sea Venom programme
- MBDA brings missile systems expertise
- QinetiQ brings air worthy certified design and evaluation capabilities
- The Royal Navy is contributing the loan of an in-serve helicopter
- Thales will offer the Lightweight Multi-role Missile (LMM)/Marlet weapon
- General Dynamics is supplying the stores management system that will work as the interface with the aircraft for both missile systems.
On other DGP Initiatives
A £10 million jointly funded project between government and industry will back the best new technologies and research that can have a “dual use” in defence and civil sector businesses. The Dual Use Technology Exploitation (DUTE) cluster will help boost growth by linking UK manufacturers particularly SMEs, from the civil and defence sectors to draw on the best technologies of both to deliver game-changing solutions for customers. It is expected to create 180 jobs across 15 partners up to 2019.
Systems Engineering Master’s Apprenticeship Programme (SEMAP)
To address the shortfall in defence sector skills the DGP has created a new Defence Apprenticeship standard, which has been developed by industry, trade bodies and academia and will deliver the new standard for a Level 7 Apprenticeship (equivalent to a Master’s degree) in advanced system engineering. The first 86 students started the new Systems Engineering Master’s Apprenticeship Programme (SEMAP) in January 2016. The apprenticeship standard will attract new graduates to the industry as well as up-skilling the existing workforce.
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