21 Sep 2015 - By
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Defence Minister sets the industry agenda at DSEI 2015

At the world-leading defence trade exhibition, Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI 2015), UK Defence Minister set out the Government’s agenda for the defence industry and highlighted key areas for suppliers in particular to be aware of over the coming Parliament.

SME initiatives

According to Mr Fallon, the real secret to success in innovation lies in ‘opening up your supply chains and tapping the creative talents of our SMEs’.

In the last year of the last Parliament the Government spent 20% of its defence budget directly and indirectly with SMEs, and new figures show that the MOD did business with over 5400 small firms for contracts worth over £800m.

In order to go even further over the remainder of this Parliament, the Government will appoint a Supply Chain Champion as well as announcing the first set of winners for the £10m Defence Growth Partnership Innovation Challenge.

Exporting for growth

As competition for UK MOD defence contracts intensifies, Mr Fallon is keen to see firms of all sizes benefit from export opportunities in order to follow in the footsteps of some of the country’s biggest organisations.

In 2014, defence and security exports were worth £12bn, a massive potential market for some of the UK’s best firms.

That’s why we want you to build exportability into your products DNA

By considering export options early in the acquisition cycle and by doing more to consider the commercial viability of products, Mr Fallon believes that the export opportunities available to firms will increase and, in turn, the economy will grow.

Mr Fallon said: “This crossover from the defence to civil sector needs to become more commonplace. There’s no mystery about our desire to see you achieve export success. Exports are good for the economy. And what’s good for the economy is good for our national security.”

Efficiency

The Government’s efficiency agenda is already at full speed, however according to the Defence Minister there is now the greatest incentive of all to save.

“Every pound we save goes not to the Treasury but direct into buying, building and maintaining the ships, submarines, aircraft, armour and equipment, .…not to mention recruiting and retaining the talent we also need.”

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