Industrial Strategy

An ambitious approach to modern industrial strategy will deliver local growth and boost the UK’s global competitiveness

The Aerospace, Defence, Security and Space industries are strategically important sectors for the UK, contributing to national security and economic prosperity. These high-productivity sectors provide thousands of high-wage jobs and apprenticeships, delivering sustainable growth in every region and nation of the country.

The government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper highlights the Aerospace Growth Partnership as a prime example of how the government and industry have worked successfully together. Within the AGP, 70-80% of the companies benefiting from its R&D and supply chain programmes – such as the ATI, NATEP and Sharing in Growth – are located outside London and the South East.

Our successful Aerospace, Defence, Security and Space industry strategies are delivering a focused approach to long term technology funding, strengthening supply chains, attracting inward investment and growing UK exports

Maintaining and building on the UK’s strengths in these wealth-creating sectors will help deliver on the Green Paper’s strategic pillars. This in turn will contribute to raising productivity across the whole country and ensuring the UK remains one of the best places in the world to innovate, do business and create jobs.

With the UK having begun the process for leaving the EU, we must ensure that the UK economy and our globally competitive sectors are best prepared for the global challenges they will face in the years ahead. The government and industry should take this opportunity to be more ambitious about investing in the UK’s global competitiveness.

The UK can retain, as well as attract, global investment in local growth and national prosperity by:

  • Providing political commitment to, and boosting long-term investment in, successful sector strategies
  • Prioritising and focusing funding for industrial innovation to maximise the economic benefit of our ingenuity
  • Building on national sector strategies to attract and retain global investment in local growth


  • Support the UK as a global centre for High Value Design (HVD) through a new cross-cutting and national, ‘High Value Design Organisation’ which oversees a challenge funding programme and is tasked with securing the strategic skills and knowledge base required to secure the UK’s future global position.
  • Support the National Manufacturing Competitiveness Levels (NMCL): The government’s industrial strategy should support the NMCL framework, a cross-sectoral supply chain competitiveness programme.
  • Expand NATEP to include defence-specific projects: Just as the Ministry of Defence (MOD) is encouraging SMEs from adjacent sectors to apply to a variety of Defence Challenges for Innovation, the Defence sector should be able to benefit from other innovation funding streams.
  • Ensure the defence nuclear sector is at the core of the Nuclear Sector Deal: Lord Hutton’s Nuclear sector deal should explore the full extent of competitiveness and skills issues in both the civil and defence nuclear sectors.
  • Provide industry with clarity on technical education reforms, including on how the proposed Institutes of Technology fit with successful UTCs.
  • Set priorities for the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF): The ISCF presents an opportunity to accelerate the development of these cross-cutting themes and in so doing, bring productivity improvements to multiple industries.
  • Build on the UK’s successful Aerospace Sector Deal.
  • Boost funding for the Aerospace Technology Institute by £50m per year, which would accelerate investment in local productivity growth.
  • Bringing together the UK’s future Aviation Strategy and Industrial Strategy the government should seek to bring together the aims of the DFT’s future Aviation Strategy and the goals of BEIS’ Industrial Strategy, in order to coordinate future activity and deliver on the economic growth and policy objectives of both.
  • Coordinating aerospace activities with the existing ‘Catapult network’.
  • Adopt a wider definition of value for money and a systematic approach to pre-competitive engagement in defence acquisition.
  • Establish a National Defence Investment Priorities plan to better coordinate and align R&D funding across the defence enterprise.
  • Bolster the ‘Team UK’ approach to defence exports by developing a truly collaborative framework to develop a compelling national offer.
  • Develop a HMG endorsement scheme for defence and security exports that can help showcase the very best of what the UK defence and security industries have to offer.
  • Develop a National Combat Air Strategy, providing strategic direction that will ensure the UK maintains its world leading position.
  • Establish a security export support team, based in DIT DSO and working with the Home Office, JSaRC, SRGP and RISC – and ensure security is given parity to defence within DSO.
  • Support a comprehensive ‘Team UK’ approach to security exports to ensure the government and industry come together to form consortia offering comprehensive solutions.
  • Develop minimum cyber security and resilience standards across the whole private sector, through the National Cyber Security Centre, to make the UK more resilient and robust to cyber-attack.
  • Teach computer programming and STEM skills from the earliest possible age, through integration into the primary school curriculum