Who we work with

We work with and across a large number of organisations, partners, and supporting bodies to deliver a range of highly valued activities and services on behalf of our sectors and the members we support. 

Whether representing industry or driving forward innovation, ADS is at the forefront of these activities. 

Growth Partnerships

ADS is at the heart of the joint Industry-Government Growth Partnerships that are shaping our sectors. We represent the interests of our members and encourage them to participate in the initiatives that flow from them.

Aerospace Growth Partnership (AGP)

The Aerospace Growth Partnership (AGP) is a strategic partnership between government and industry which has been established to secure the future of the UK aerospace industry for the next 20 years and beyond. This partnership is intended as a vehicle to tackle barriers to growth, boost competitiveness and exports, and grow the number of high value jobs in the UK. ADS is an active participant in the AGP and its working groups, providing a point of coordination and a gateway into the wider UK aerospace industry. 

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Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI)

The ATI is one of the key outcomes so far of the Aerospace Growth Partnership, and represents £3.8bn of joint government and industry investment in R&T through to 2026. Its purpose is to maintain and grow the UK’s competitive position in aerospace design and manufacture. It does this by developing the UK Aerospace Technology Strategy, and stimulating industry-led R&T projects that align with this strategy. ADS supports its members by working closely with the ATI in all its functions, such as the development of its technology strategy, market opportunity outlook and international (including EU) approach. New applications for funding are currently paused until 2022 but the ATI will remain open and active, reviewing the UK’s aerospace technology strategy, running FlyZero and consulting with industry on potential future projects.

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National Aerospace Technology Exploitation Programme (NATEP)

NATEP is aimed at small and medium sized suppliers to help them develop their own innovative technologies to enhance their capabilities and increase their ability to win new business with higher tier companies anywhere in the world. 

NATEP supports the engagement and proposal development phase of the programme, as well as the technical and management mentoring throughout the project. This mentoring and support is unique to the NATEP programme and helps companies to accelerate their technology development towards market readiness. The programme draws upon industry professionals and technology managers to support the development of applications for funding through peer review and feedback, known as the Proposal Review Panel (PRP). 

NATEP is delivered by a consortium led by ADS and the ATI Programme partners. The ATI Programme partners are Innovate UK, the Aerospace Technology Institute and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). 

Please go to www.natep.org.uk for information on programme calls and application criteria.

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Sharing in Growth (SIG)

SiGwas set up in 2013 specifically to deliver a £110M programme of intensive supplier development over four years, to between 30-40 UK suppliers. The main funding support for this ambitious and innovative programme has come from a successful Regional Growth Fund application, and its focus is to help suppliers meet and improve their performance and efficiency. The programme is delivered by a team of circa 100 full-time experts integrated with nationally recognised specialists who are deployed into companies to assist with training, coaching, and mentoring to address their specific ambitions and diagnosed challenges. Project scopes have included strategy development, operational excellence, productivity, culture, business development, and new product introduction.  Having secured over £4.8bn of UK work with aerospace companies, SiG are now looking to support all the key manufacturing growth sectors, including Offshore Wind, Defence, and Nuclear. 

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Defence Growth Partnership (DGP)

ADS is one of the founding partners of the DGP which aims to secure a thriving UK defence sector delivering long-term security, growth and prosperity for our nation. As a partnership between Industry and Government, the DGP is an important part of generating high-tech, export-led growth.

The DGP is working to:

  • Grow the UK’s global market share through increased exports
  • Foster greater collaboration and innovation across the sector, bringing products and services to the market that meet customer needs
  • Improve competitiveness through the whole value chain

ADS is represented on the DGP Steering Committee and the DGP Operations Board.

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The UK Defence Solutions Centre (UKDSC)

UKDSC has been established as the customer facing centre of expertise to bring the best of UK capability to the international market, develop enduring relationships with international partners and facilitate tailored solutions that meet their strategic needs. It enables industry to collaborate more effectively in framing and developing solutions to a broader range of customers’ requirements.

The DGP has also strengthened the Department for International Trade UK Defence and Security Exports (UKDSE) with new resources and capabilities to improve the understanding of customer needs and to prioritise export opportunities. The additional industry resource is helping to deliver enhanced market intelligence and analysis.

ADS is represented on the UKDSC Steering Committee and the UKDSE Liaison Board.

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Dual-Use Technology Exploitation (DUTE) Programme

DUTE backs new technologies and research that can have a ‘dual use’ in the Defence and Civil sectors. It connects UK manufacturers with high-growth SMEs and technology start-ups, providing mentoring and technology showcasing opportunities as well as engendering innovation to create new disruptive technologies for customers.

The key focus for the £10.3M programme, supported by both Industry and Government, is to harness the innovative potential of UK SMEs for economic growth. By linking UK manufactures from the two sectors, it will draw on the best technologies of both to deliver game-changing solutions for customers.

DUTE’s activities will include:

  • Research and development, ranging from early stage research through to maturing technologies towards market readiness
  • Training and development to build skills and capability
  • Innovation management and technology transfer
  • Technology showcasing and business mentoring

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The Security and Resilience Growth Partnership (SRGP) is a strategic partnership of government, academia, and industry for the innovation, promotion and delivery of UK security capabilities. The Partnership is co-chaired at the highest level by Government, through the Security Minister, and industry, through the Chairperson of the UK Security and Resilience Industry Suppliers Community (RISC).  

In order to allow for greater strategic alignment and to become the focal point for engagement, the existing SRGP is being expanded further following the publication of the Integrated Review. The SRGP will drive joint security-related workstreams involving Government, industry and academia, and it also will work to shape markets and solve common problems around security and resilience, including on the sector’s priorities of procurement, innovation, exports, and skills. 

ADS is represented in the SRGP governance structure through its active high-level membership of the RISC Council and as a Founding Partner of RISC. ADS also serves as the Secretariat for RISC. 

  • Joint Security and Resilience Centre (JSaRC)

JSaRC was founded in 2016 by the Office of Security and Counter-Terrorism (now known as Homeland Security within the Home Office) to provide security outcomes for the UK by combining government, academic and private sector expertise to meet security threats. It works to overcome barriers to collaboration and to improve the understanding both sides have of each of other, and of the key issues and trends that have an impact on the UK’s security and resilience. JSaRC also acts as the secretariat for the SRGP. 

JSaRC has a ‘threat-agnostic’ approach, championing multi-use technology that has multiple applications and encouraging specialist innovation in ideas and products to meet the possible security and resilience threats facing the UK. This results in market ready solutions being offered to the public and private sector. 

ADS was deeply involved in the establishment of JSaRC and continue to work closely with JSaRC, both through the SRGP and directly to enhance growth opportunities for security and resilience companies, as well as in support of the Home Office’s official event, Security and Policing. 

Working with Government

ADS works across industry to identify issues that matter to our members and wider sectors. We work with political stakeholders including Government Ministers and their Departments, as well as with political stakeholders such as Members of Parliament and of devolved Parliaments and Governments across the political spectrum. By doing so we build awareness with decision-makers of our industries challenges and opportunities, acting as a trusted source of timely and accurate information to support policy development to support our sectors and help sustains skilled jobs across the UK. Our stakeholder relationships with Government Departments, in Parliament and with the UK’s devolved administrations are managed by our expert Public Affairs team.

The Defence Suppliers Forum (Main) is the major conduit for MOD-industry relationships. It is chaired by the Secretary of State for Defence and includes representatives from prime contractors, international companies and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). This allows for a broad, representative and productive focus for interaction between the MOD and industry. ADS is a rotating member of the DSF Main, participating in 1-2 meetings per annum. 

The DSF Main meeting is supplemented by a Mid-Tier  Forum, as well as an SME Working Group, to discuss specific issues affecting businesses through the supply chain, together with a several other DSF groups  to address a number of work streams. 

ADS is a member of the DSF Mid-Tier Forum, as well as the Commercial Enterprise and Acquisition Steering Group; the DSF Commercial Working Group; the Capability Management, Innovation and International Steering Group; the Research, Technology and Innovation Group; and the new Climate Change and Sustainability Steering Group. Two ADS members also attend the SME Working Group, representing the wider membership. 

The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) brings together responsibilities for business, industrial strategy, science, innovation, energy, and climate change. 

ADS works closely with the BEIS on issues and topics surrounding the industrial and business environment in which our members operate. ADS engages regularly with BEIS officials on driving the agenda and priorities of the AGP. In addition, ADS promotes the priorities of the sectors ADS represents to BEIS, on issues ranging from Research & Development (R&D) funding, to the ways in which overall competitiveness of the UK economy can be boosted and supporting our sectors recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. ADS also works closely with the BEIS Space Directorate and the UK Space Agency who are an arm’s length body of BEIS to advance the views of the space sector within Government. 

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The Department is responsible for promoting British trade across the world and ensuring the UK takes advantage of the huge opportunities open to us. 

The Government has established a UK Aerospace Hub, bringing together policy delivery teams in the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the Department for International Trade (DIT). ADS supports its members by collaborating with the Aerohub and ADS member companies to target priority markets and export opportunities. Specialists are employed by DIT, and work with ADS to identify opportunities with aircraft manufacturers and their leading domestic suppliers, and match those opportunities to the right British companies. 

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UK Defence and Security Exports

UK Defence and Security Exports helps the UK defence and security industries to export. ADS partners with the Department on areas such as events, delegation programmes and UK pavilions at international exhibitions. 

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ADS works closely with the UK Department for Transport (DfT) on a range of issues and topics surrounding aviation safety regulation, airworthiness and aviation security, at a national, European and global level. ADS engages regularly with DfT officials on managing safety processes and procedures from the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), and on continuous changes and updates to aviation safety and environmental regulation, and the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). 

ADS is involved in a number of working groups to help develop the UK’s aviation safety policies further now the UK has left the EU and is no longer a member of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). 

ADS also works closely with DfT who are leading on the restart and recovery of the UK aviation sector following the COVID pandemic and has fed into initiatives in the past such as the Global Travel Taskforce.  

The DfT also Co-Chairs the Government’s Jet Zero Council which ADS sits on. The Council is a partnership between industry and government to bring together ministers and chief executive officer-level stakeholders, with the aim of delivering zero-emission transatlantic flight within a generation, driving the ambitious delivery of new technologies and innovative ways to cut aviation emissions. 

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The Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) is the UK government department responsible for safeguarding the UK’s natural environment. 

ADS works closely with the DEFRA on chemical and materials use issues, and is a full member of DEFRA’s UK Chemical Stakeholder Forum, and F-Gas groups. Within ADS, these relationships are managed through our HazMat special interest group. ADS also manages the Climate Change Agreements for the Aerospace sector with the Environment Agency, who are an executive non-departmental public body sponsored by DEFRA. ADS is also working with DEFRA and other trade associations on the development of the UK REACH regime following the UKs departure from the EU.

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Innovate UK (IUK) is the UK’s innovation agency, working with Industry to invest (typically through collaborative grant funding) in technology innovations that will grow the UK economy. IUK works across all business sectors, but works under the more transversal themes of: 

  • Emerging and Enabling Technologies 
  • Health and Life Sciences 
  • Infrastructure Systems 
  • Manufacturing and Materials 

ADS sectors align well with Innovate UK’s funding criteria, which aims to support technologies that feed into significant global market opportunities and leverage unique UK strengths. Amongst the range of innovation initiatives that it supports, Innovate UK is also responsible for the Catapult network that ADS sectors strongly engage with. Critically, IUK is charged with providing connectivity to all other innovation networks. 

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Most notably, ADS organises the annual Home Office Security & Policing event which is the largest of its kind in the UK. It provides a platform for showcasing world leading technologies, products and solutions to police services, Government departments, organisations and agencies from the UK and overseas. 

ADS also supports Home Office strategy and policy making, for example ADS has been involved in the development of the Integrated Review and the implementation of the Protect Duty. 

ADS also supports research and innovation calls for a number of groups within Homeland Security in the Home Office. 

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ADS works closely with the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) on a range of issues and topics relating to national security, Defence procurement and industrial policy, at a national, European and global level.

ADS supports MOD strategy and policy making, including in relation to the Integrated Review, the Defence Command Paper and the Defence Industrial Strategy, working closely with several MOD teams and defence related organisations that support the MODThis includes: 

  • MOD Industrial Policy Team
  • MOD International Relations Group
  • MOD Defence Science and Technology
  • MOD IPR Team
  • MOD Single Source Advisory Team and Cost Assurance and Analysis Service
  • Dstl
  • Defence Equipment and Support
  • Defence Infrastructure Organisation
  • Frontline Commands
  • Single Source Regulations Office
  • Defence and Security Accelerator

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Industry Forums and Partners

ADS works closely with a range of partner organisations to build consensus and collaborate where it is in the interest of our members.

The Aerospace and Defence Federation unites ADS, with all the country’s regional aerospace alliances, working together for the benefit of their combined membership.

The Federation provides a single ‘voice’ for aerospace and defence industry members, but also allows for autonomy to work at a regional level where this is most appropriate.

The aim is to enhance the opportunities open to all member organisations through collaboration, whether at international airshows, on funded programmes or through a ‘single voice’ when engaging with Government.

The role of the Defence Industries Council is to take a strategic perspective of the interests of the UK-based defence industry and represent them effectively to Government departments, Parliament, and other opinion formers and influencers, in relevant national and international fora.

Membership consists of a number of industry members including several prime contractors, a medium-sized firm, a small firm, and representatives of the three trade associations: ADS, techUK and the Society of Maritime Industries. In addition to being a full member, ADS is the Secretariat of the DIC.

The UK’s Security & Resilience Industry Suppliers Community (RISC) brings together the UK industrial and academic community to support Government in creating a more secure and safe environment for UK citizens. It acts as the principal channel of communication between the Home Office (Homeland Security) and the security sector on national security and resilience issues. 

ADS, the British Security Industry Association (BSIA) and techUK are the national, founding trade associations of RISC. Associate Membership is open to other appropriate, representative bodies. Academic RiSC acts as RISC’s link to the academic community.  

ADS currently acts as the secretariat to RISC.

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JOSCAR is the accreditation system for the aerospace, defence and security sectors. The system was established following an initiative led by ADS and includes a growing number of prime contractors as registered buyers.

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The British Aviation Group (BAG) is the representative body for UK companies involved in the airport and aviation development sector. BAG’s primary role is to help UK companies win business in airport and aviation developments (in the UK and overseas) and to help clients identify UK suppliers of goods and services to meet their needs.

BAG operates under the ADS Group umbrella and is open to both ADS members and non-ADS members.

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The Royal Aeronautical Society is the world’s only professional body dedicated to the entire aerospace community. Established in 1866 to further the art, science and engineering of aeronautics, the Society has been at the forefront of developments in aerospace ever since.

ADS frequently partners with RAeS on projects and events, most notably Futures Day held at Farnborough International Airshow and the joint careers website Careers in Aerospace.

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Several years ago, all parts of the aviation sector came together to produce a long term strategy setting out the collective approach of UK aviation to tackle the challenge of ensuring a sustainable future for our industry. The group arising from this initiative is called Sustainable Aviation, and brings together the main players from UK airlines, airports, manufacturers and air navigation service providers. 

ADS is a Council Member of Sustainable Aviation which gives us a voice in directing it’s work, as well as having membership of the various specialist working groups. It is also the forum in which ADS works with aerospace members, other aerospace manufacturers, the airlines, airports and air navigation service providers, to improve the performance of the sector and promote the environmental credentials of UK aviation as a whole. 

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International Cooperation and Engagement

Given the global nature of our sectors, ADS works with international partners to further the interests of our members overseas.

ADS is the largest member and contributor to the Aerospace and Defence Industries Association of Europe (ASD), the trade association representing aerospace, defence and space in Europe. ADS coordinates UK representation on all of ASD’ main business units (Civil Aviation; Defence; Security), and its Commissions (R&T; Economic Legal and Trade; Environment; Supply Chain; Services; External Affairs).

UK representation allows ADS to inform and influence key decision making at a European level, on both technical and political issues which affect UK industry, and which disseminate from the institutions and agencies associated with the European Union (EU).

In addition, membership of ASD allows the UK to increase its bilateral engagement with similar trade associations in other key European nations – such as GIFAS in France and BDLI in Germany. ADS works closely on the Paris and Berlin airshows respectively.

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The Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) is the premier trade association representing 300 major aerospace and defence manufacturers and suppliers across the United States.

ADS engages regularly with the AIA on issues of transatlantic importance to our sectors – including outreach in and around the Farnborough Airshow, and promoting the special relationship between the US and UK in the aerospace, defence and space industries.

In addition, ADS works closely with the AIA on the International Rocketry Challenge, organising the annual event at the Paris and Farnborough Airshows, and promoting participation from schools on both sides of the Atlantic.

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Horizon Europe is the world’s largest research and innovation programme, with a total budget of around €95.5 billion to be invested over a seven year period between 2020 and 2027.

For Industry, Horizon Europe is co-funded, with the European Commission contributing through grants. Project size can vary from a few hundred thousand to tens of millions of Euros and there is a specific “instrument” to support SMEs. Horizon Europe operates across aerospace, space and security with respect to ADS’ sectors and the UK negotiated access to Horizon Europe programmes in the UK-Eu Trade and Cooperation Agreement.

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Farnborough International operates under the ADS Group umbrella.

ADS partners with its subsidiary, at Farnborough International Airshow, to deliver a range of activities. From hosting Government delegations to showcasing R&D via the Innovation Zone, through to offering members exclusive access to facilities and organising Futures Day.

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The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) is the specialised agency of the United Nations that deals with Civil Aviation. As part of the International Coordinating Council of Aerospace Industries Associations (ICCAIA) delegation, ADS is involved as a member of Working Group 2 of ICAO’s environmental committee, CAEP, which focuses on airports and operations, as well as co-leading the task group identifying “Operational Opportunities to Reduce Aircraft Noise”.

ADS representation also allows membership of other task groups that have a connection to the work of the ADS environmental SIGs, e.g. end of life issues, etc. and the ability to work with all parts of the industry to help inform the global standards and recommended practices developed by ICAO.

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