As we reach the halfway point of the UK Defence Solutions Centre’s initial three-year programme, it is worth reflecting on the very positive progress that has been achieved so far. Under Steve Brittan’s leadership, we have drawn together a highly talented team who together has developed a systematic approach to the identification of future key growth markets for the UK defence industrial sector. This important output is now influencing both UK Government and industry direction at the strategic level. The UKDSC is also determining key investment priorities to allow the industry to address these markets with greater confidence. At the heart of this is some impressive innovative thinking on how the UK Government and industry can deliver better value from their investments in future capabilities that ultimately will be vital to both our national security and to the nation’s prosperity. This impressive body of knowledge is hugely valuable and those who created it should be proud of their achievements.
Building on the original DGP vision, the UKDSC has recently welcomed Ultra Electronics, and Southampton and Cranfield Universities as its first Associate Members: they are already making a valued contribution to UKDSC. Equally, the UKDSC’s interaction with the wider UK value chain has notched-up more than 600 engagements. In addition, new investment from industry is beginning to flow, and UKDSC’s direct engagement with innovative SMEs has been highly valued by the entrepreneurs involved who are seeking to grow their businesses through the application of their outstanding technology and innovation within the broader UK Value Chain.
Over the next six months, I will be working closely with Steve Brittan and our DGP Stakeholders to define the strategy for the evolution of UKDSC. We have great foundations on which to build in terms of the considerable success already demonstrated by UKDSC. This will focus on building compelling, ambitious ‘Team UK’ initiatives by bringing forward the very best of UK industry to deliver outstanding capabilities and value to customers worldwide.