The reappointment of Michael Fallon as Secretary of State for Defence and Philip Dunne as minister for defence procurement is good news for UK industry and the work of the Defence Growth Partnership (DGP).
They are an experienced team with a good understanding of the range of businesses within the UK defence sector and a commitment to securing the best equipment and support for our armed forces.
Ahead of the election the Conservative manifesto pledged support for Industrial Strategies, a strong indication of the party’s recognition of their important role in helping our sectors compete in the global race for high value, high knowledge jobs.
For the defence sector growing international market share remains an absolute priority and Industrial Strategy through the Defence Growth Partnership (DGP) is central to this.
The fact remains however that the Government is facing difficult spending decisions; that said, through the work of the DGP we are in a position to demonstrate the effectiveness of the Strategies because of the progress made.
March saw the opening of the UK Defence Solutions Centre (DSC) which, along with the strengthened UKTI Defence and Security Organisation, provides Britain with a unique capability to meet the requirements of international customers. The centre has strong cross-party support and has recently launched a £10m DGP innovation challenge to help engage the entire value chain.
The Centre for Maritime Intelligence Systems in Portsmouth has been in operation since last November. A testbed for new systems and technology, the Centre will lead research into turboessays unmanned autonomous boats, submarines and other vessels – a market estimated to be worth £9 billion annually over the next eight years.
As a Government-Industry partnership, the DGP is an opportunity for companies at all levels of the UK industrial value chain to help build on our strengths and deliver enhanced growth and prosperity for the UK.