ADS welcomes the launch of the Defence Technology Exploitation Programme (DTEP) and sees it as a positive step in enabling SME’s to reach their potential and continue to play a pivotal role in the UK’s defence industry. DTEP builds on the success of the National Aerospace Technology Exploitation (NATEP) programme www.natep.org.uk, managed by ADS in partnership with the Farnborough Aerospace Consortium.

The defence industry is worth over £10 bilion in value add to the UK economy and has more than 130,000 direct employees, many of these are SME’s, who provide vital links in the supply chains as well as innovative solutions and ideas.

Over recent months, the UK has stood out internationally for its commitment to supporting Ukraine and our strategic capabilities in defence and security have demonstrated real value and an ability to meet demand. SME’s have played a huge part in our ability to adapt to demand as well as  an evolving and changing threat picture.

The defence industry worked closely with the MOD to develop the Defence and Security Industrial Strategy, which looks to meet the UK’s national security priorities, support resilience and build on domestic industrial capability. The strategy laid the foundation for a defence and security industry that will have the confidence to invest in the advanced capabilities needed by the UK Armed Forces and security services.

The strategy outlined a more nuanced approach to competition and more opportunities for SMEs, alongside the MOD SME Action plan launched in January of this year, and DTEP builds on these  further. It enables SME’s to be actively involved in larger procurement projects where they add value, whilst at the same time giving them the confidence that they will be able to deliver.

ADS Chief Executive, Kevin Craven said:

“DTEP is a crucial step forward in enabling SMEs to fulfil their potential and be part of larger projects and their participation in these projects adds value, not only through strengthening supply chains but also through the innovation many SMEs bring.

“UK Defence sector turnover has increased 14 per cent over the last five years and DTEP will assist in continuing to strengthen the UK defence industry”.

Through DTEP Individual grants of up to 50 per cent of a project’s value – to a maximum of £500,000 per grant - will be available for collaborative projects between SMEs and larger suppliers, supporting the integration of novel technologies, materials and processes into MOD’s supply chains.