Last month the UKDSC participated in the ‘MIA Motorsport to Defence Technology Transfer Workshop’ which was well attended from key personnel from a range of different industries.
The workshop was chaired by the MIA’s Defence Development Director, Nick Wills OBE and hosted a wide of industry speakers drawn from both the Motorsport and Defence sectors on the theme of Motorsport to Defence, including:
- Stephen Ball, former Chief Executive of Lockheed Martin UK
- David Pitchforth, Managing Director of Boeing Defence UK,
- Paul Winstanley, Innovation Director of UK Defence Solutions Centre
- Jim Morris, Managing Director of Lifeline Fire & Safety Systems
- Terry O’Sullivan, Managing Director, Research & Technology of Thales UK
- Matt Sellens, Business Development Manager of Formaplex
The workshop was a great success, stimulating both important conversation and key actions to take to improve industry collaboration. The key themes coming out of the discussions were:
- The capabilities that exist within the Motorsport industry that could benefit the Defence industry, both the specific technical developments and the overall culture of quicker development/deployment of innovation.
- The need for Motorsport companies to engage early with potential prime contractors in the pre-tender phase, and the difficulties they encounter in knowing what the potential programmes are to enable them to do so.
- The consequential importance for Motorsport companies to make direct contact at the engineering level with prime contractors, rather than through procurement managers or management of existing programmes.
Highlighted at the workshop were the ongoing Innovation Challenges that the UKSDSC are running. These have seen submissions from the breadth of the UK Value Chain, including the Motorsport industry, and are a great opportunity for SMEs from all industries to engage with the Defence sector.
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