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.

Industrial Strategies

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

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. 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.

  • Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI)

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 of its functions, such as the development of its technology strategy, market opportunity outlook and international (including EU) approach.

  • National Aerospace Technology Exploitation Programme (NATEP)

NATEP is a £14.4m ADS-led programme supported by £8m from the Aerospace Technology Institute. The programme supports companies in the aerospace supply chain to develop innovative technologies, working in collaboration with others and is supported by higher tier companies. It will equip them to win new business with existing customers and to diversify their customer base. It is based on a proven model delivered by ADS and partner organisations from 2013-17. As well as grant funding, the programme provides high calibre technical and management resource to help those companies accelerate the technology development towards market readiness. It will involve around 100 supply chain companies, Universities and Research & Technology Organisations.

  • Sharing in Growth (SIG)

SiG was 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. So far, 50 beneficiaries of the scheme have progressed to an approved full application and the associated improvement phase. These beneficiaries of SiG grants have now secured over £1.5bn of contract value for the UK Aerospace industry.

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ADS is one of the founding partners of the Defence Growth Partnership (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.

  • 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 Defence and Security Organisation (DIT DSO) 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 DIT DSO Liaison Board.

  • 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, which was enshrined in the Security and Defence Strategic Review (SDSR). 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). The SRGP has two main focus areas: domestic joint capability and exports.

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)

The major recent achievement in SRGP is the establishment of the Joint Security and Resilience Centre (JSaRC). JSaRC’s role is to provide a single route of access for industry into Government. The Centre serves as Government’s primary means of sharing strategic national security priorities and coordinating industry support. JSaRC ensures greater oversight and understanding of the capabilities available throughout industry, and is being developed to enhance growth opportunities for security and resilience sector companies as part of the SRGP.

ADS is deeply involved in the establishment of JSaRC, working directly with Government principally through the Home Office’s Security Industry Engagement Directorate; and in the promotion of security exports directly with the Department for International Trade (DIT) Defence and Security Organisation (DSO).

Working with Government

ADS works across Whitehall to influence Ministers, Government, Departments and their agencies about the value and needs of our sectors. We consult our Members to understand their priorities and highlight back to Members, current and emerging matters of relevance.

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 and SME Forum to discuss specific issues affecting businesses through the supply chain, together with a number of DSF sub-groups to address a number of work streams.

ADS is a member of the DSF SME Forum, participating in 4-5 meetings per annum, and is co-chair of the DSF International Strategy Forum which has the UK’s international partnerships and alliances as its remit. ADS is also represented at meetings of the Research Technology and Innovation sub-group and the Joint Communications sub-group.

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, as well as help to deliver the numerous initiatives and programmes which have been developed as a result of the UK government’s approach to industrial strategy across our four sectors. 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.

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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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DIT DSO

DIT DSO 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, standards and practices developed at the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).

In addition, ADS is working with the DfT on providing new and innovative solutions to complement the UK government’s efforts to enhance and promote improvements in global aviation security.

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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.

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Innovate UK 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, and is the body charged with delivering the recently announced Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund. 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 CONTEST Refresh and the draft Investigatory Powers Bill and major programmes, e.g. the National Law Enforcement Data Programme (NLEDP) through the ADS NLEDP Industry Reference Group.

ADS also supports research and innovation calls for a number of groups within the Office for Security and Counter-Terrorism (OSCT).

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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. While the MOD is a vast Ministerial Department supported by 29 agencies and public bodies, the main MOD teams and defence-related organisations ADS engages with include:

  • 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 (Office for Security and Counter Terrorism) 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. The Research Councils UK (RCUK) Partnership for Conflict, Crime and Security Research acts as RISC’s link to the Research Councils.

ADS acts as the secretariat to RISC.

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JOSCAR is the new 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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In 2005, 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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Horizon2020 is the world’s largest research and innovation programme, with a total budget of around €80 billion to be invested over a seven year period between 2014 and 2020. For Industry, Horizon2020 is co-funded, with the EC 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. H2020 operates across Aerospace, Space and Security with respect to ADS’s sectors.

ADS supports its Members by:

  • Highlighting relevant opportunities through our website, Member Bulletins and other communications, and targeted briefing events
  • Signposting to further information and collaboration opportunities
  • Representing our Members’ views at stakeholder forums in the UK and Europe that shape the emerging H2020 programme and calls

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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 SIG’s, 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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