Sector Policies

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 UK.

Maintaining and building on the UK’s strengths in these wealth-creating sectors will help boost productivity across the whole country and make sure the UK remains one of the best places in the world to innovate, do business and create jobs.

With the UK having left the EU, we must make sure that UK industry’s globally competitive sectors are best prepared for the 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 both retain and attract new global investment in local growth and national prosperity by:

  • Providing political commitment to, and boosting long-term investment in, successful sector strategies.
  • Building on national sector strategies that deliver proven results through targeted investment in supply chain competitiveness, partnerships and innovation.
  • Focus on supply chain competitiveness to improve productivity and equip industry to take advantage of future technology opportunities.
  • Prioritising a positive environment for private sector investment, including by using the Government’s expected 2019 Comprehensive Spending Review as a platform for further investment into UK industry.

Read more about ADS priorities:

  • Supporting the Aerospace Growth Partnership (AGP), established in 2010 as a strategic partnership between industry, academia and government, to deliver a shared long-term commitment to maintain and grow the UK’s position as a world-leading aerospace industry.
  • Collaborating with industry on Jet Zero ambitions, including: 
    • Working with the Jet Zero Council, a partnership between industry and government, with the aim of delivering zero-emission transatlantic flight within a generation. 
    • Further long-term joint public and private funding for the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI) past 2026. 
    • Investing in the development of new sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) industrial plants to enable the UK to become the commercial home and world-leader for this transformative technology. 
  • Investing in the competitiveness of the UK aerospace supply chain through the continuation and development of industry support programmes, including Supply Chains for the 21st Century (SC21), Sharing in Growth (SiG), the National Aerospace Exploitation Programme (NATEP), and promoting the Supply Chain Competitiveness Charter to strengthen relationships between leading civil aerospace companies and their suppliers.
  • Working to bring together the aims of the Department for Transport (DfT)’s future Aviation Strategy and the goals of the Industrial Strategy, to coordinate future activity and deliver on the economic growth and policy objectives of both.
  • Committing to building a more balanced and fair industry for women by launching the Women in Aviation and Aerospace Charter, reflecting the aspiration to see gender balance at all levels across the industry by driving diversity and inclusion within the sector


  • Established in 2014, the Defence Growth Partnership (DGP) works to build on the UK’s export strategy and the success of the UK’s defence industry.
  • The DGP delivers enhanced growth and prosperity through a Team UK approach, by working with key stakeholders across government, academia, trade associations and all levels of the industrial value chain in the UK.
  • By partnering with Team UK, international customers can be included in early research and be involved with major platforms and large-scale international programmes.
  • As part of the DGP, the UK Defence Solutions Centre works to boost UK defence exports through better alignment with UK Government and collaboration within the UK value chain, as well as stimulating innovation and investment from a broad range of sources.
  • A Team UK initiative launched at the 2018 Farnborough International Airshow is the Defence Enterprise Export Programme (DEEP). This aims to ensure that the UK generates skilled defence exports specialists with the ability and expertise to lead successful international defence export campaigns in the future.
  • Support the Security and Resilience Growth Partnership (SRGP), through ADS’ leading role in the UK Security and Resilience Industry Suppliers Community (RISC), to ensure that the UK security and resilience sector can speak effectively and with one voice directly to Government about the needs and requirements of industry.
  • Support the enhancement of the Security and Resilience Growth Partnership (SRGP), through ADS’ leading role in the UK Security and Resilience Industry Suppliers Community (RISC), to ensure that the SRGP can become the focal point for engagement between security-related government departments, industry and academia. 
  • Drive joint workstreams between industry and HMG, through ADS’s work through RISC, with the Joint Security and Resilience Centre (JSaRC) on procurement and skills, UK Defence and Security Exports (UKDSE) on exports, and the National Security Technology and Innovation Exchange (NSTIx) on innovation. Promote greater transparency of requirements, through RISC and the SRGP, by working with Government bodies such JSaRC, the Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) and NSTIx to communicate updates on cross-government homeland security priorities and demand signals.  
  • Maximise industry engagement with cross-government initiatives, including Innovate UK competitions; the Conflict, Stability and Security Fund; and National Security Strategic Investment Fund; by helping to shape and providing insight into their processes, requirements, and end users. Also, to support ADS’s activities to build links for members with the ‘hard to reach’ parts of HMG. 
  • The Space Growth Partnership (SPG)  is a mechanism, jointly supported by government and industry, which aligns activities across the sector to deliver innovation and growth.
  • The SGP, UK Space Agency, industry and the government are currently working in tandem towards the creation of a National Space Programme to help progress the UKs already thriving space sector and bring together historic ad-hoc approaches to national investment in space.
  • Providing a strategic and long term National Space Programme framework to build on the UKs standout industrial and academic strengths
  • As part of the Governments modern industrial strategy, they announced at the Farnborough Airshow that Sutherland in Scotland will be home to the first vertical launch site in mainland Europe by 2020.

The UK’s approach to modern industrial strategy

The current Government seeks to bring about a more active and explicit industrial strategy. Launched in 2017, the aim of the Industrial Strategy is to boost productivity by backing businesses to create good jobs and increase the earning power of people throughout the UK with investment in skills, industries and infrastructure. The three key principles of the strategy are:

The fundamentals that support a skilled, innovative, geographically-balanced economy. The five foundations are:

  • Ideas: encouraging the UK to be the world’s most innovative economy
  • People: ensuring good jobs and greater earning power for all
  • Infrastructure: driving a major upgrade to the UK’s infrastructure
  • Business environment: guaranteeing the best place to start and grow a business
  • Places: creating prosperous communities across the UK

Building long-term strategic partnerships with businesses through Sector Deals between government and industry. These present significant opportunities to tackle barriers to growth, boost productivity in specific sectors, further collaboration, and ensure high-quality jobs.

The society-changing opportunities and industries of the future, where we can build on our emerging and established strengths to become a world leader. Our first four Grand Challenges are focused on global trends to transform our future:

  • AI and data: putting the UK at the forefront of the AI and data revolution,
  • Ageing society: harnessing the power of innovation to meet the needs of an ageing society,
  • Clean growth: maximising the advantages for UK industry from the global shift to clean growth,
  • Future of mobility: becoming a world leader in shaping the future of mobility.