A Christmas message from ADS CEO, Kevin Craven

Dear ADS Members,kevincravenprofile

Thank you all for your support and engagement throughout this year, it is our members who make ADS work really. As we approach Christmas and turn our minds to the new year ahead, I wanted to share with you my reflections on ADS and our industries.

A lot can happen in 12 months. A good example of that was a year ago, I would not have predicted I would be writing to you as ADS Chief Executive! In that time, we have seen a number of welcome developments as well as the challenges brought by the pandemic.

The Defence and Security Industrial Strategy launched in March, which promises to offer new business opportunities for members of all sizes across our Defence and Security sectors in the UK. In September, it was a real thrill to welcome members to the UK Pavilion at an in-person DSEI, and this autumn we have seen the Government commit to extending Aerospace Technology Institute funding until 2031. I am also pleased that ADS has this year agreed with UKspace how our two associations will work together to further the interests of our exciting Space industry.

Over the course of many months, we have seen international travel taking the first steps to recovering from impact of the pandemic. The journey to a full return to pre-crisis levels of flying is likely to be a long one, but we hope to see a continued sustained improvement, founded on successful global vaccination programmes, that will in turn see aerospace manufacturing ramp up as demand returns. That ramp up will present many challenges as you know better than I, but the sector has great resilience and expertise so will succeed.

Looking to 2022, this will be a pivotal year for the Government’s ambitions for the UK, and for our industries. This year, we have seen important plans set out on issues directly relevant to us all, including by the Integrated Review, the Net Zero Strategy and the recently published Export Strategy. These plans and others like them form the basis of overarching objectives for Global Britain, and to make this country a science superpower.

ADS is making the case for Government action to match that ambition, making clear the readiness of industry to work as a trusted partner. Our sectors have enormous potential to play critical roles in growing and levelling up our economy, generating high value exports founded on our capabilities in innovation and advanced engineering, achieving net zero and supporting the UK’s role on the global stage.

Across our membership I am continually impressed at the drive of companies in our sectors to invest in their own productivity and competitiveness. My mission is to ensure that you receive the support and the business connections that will enable your future success.

At ADS our whole team is working to evolve our organisation and deliver more member value in all that we do, whether business development, events, the services and programmes we offer, or industry representation at a regional, national or international level.

The chance to meet in person is one that perhaps we now value more than ever, and I am looking forward to all the opportunities the next year will bring for me to meet and engage with ADS members and learn more about how we can support you. The Government is due to review its guidelines and measures to limit the spread of Covid-19 on January 5th and we will update you then if there is any impact on the Annual Dinner or further planned events early in the New Year.

I wish all of you and your families a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Kevin Craven, Chief Executive, ADS