Today (27 March) will see the defence industry come together at Defence Procurement, Research, Technology & Exportability (DPRTE) 2018 at Cardiff’s Motorpoint Arena.
Held across a single day, DPRTE 2018 offers a unique opportunity to showcase goods and services, as well as the chance to engage directly with both the key personnel and organisations responsible for setting strategy and operationally delivering an annual budget of over £19 billion.
The stage is now set for buyers, suppliers and defence thought leaders to be brought together in an engaging environment where they can network and discuss the latest market developments and opportunities.
So what sets DPRTE apart from other events in the defence calendar?
Who better to ask than Les Mosco, CEO at Commercial Strategies Ltd and former Ministry of Defence Commercial Director, who will be chairing the Live Keynote Arena this year.
Mr Mosco says: “It’s a much more accessible ‘meet the buyer’ event. It’s not a military equipment sales event, it isn’t dominated by the big international defence companies and it’s much easier for existing and potential new suppliers to meet the procurement community within the MOD and defence sector to find out what’s going on in defence procurement, what the emerging needs are, and any changes in MOD’s ways of working.”
Indeed, DPRTE 2018 promises to be an excellent opportunity for both existing and potential suppliers.
Mr Mosco explains: “There are many parallel sessions to choose from to learn about the needs in the defence sector. Examples include the Networking and Collaboration Zones covering Innovation, Cyber Security, Prime Contractors’ requirements, plus Knowledge Transfer Zones with talks about Partnering, Export and Business Growth, and procurement and tendering advice from PASS (Procurement Advice and Support Service).
“These are ideal learning opportunities for suppliers, away from a sales environment, to understand the customers’ requirements. From an MOD procurement and Prime Contractor’s perspective, it allows relaxed and informal discussions with suppliers, partly to hear about supplier developments, and partly to explain the emerging procurement needs.”
So what does Mr Mosco think will be one of the key themes to emerge from the event?
“Change – the need for innovative and agile suppliers to help the UK defend itself against new and unconventional threats. Plus the constant need for better value for money, and sharper priorities, to squeeze more outcomes from budgets which do not keep up with either defence inflation or the widening threats to our citizens.”
Mr Mosco will provide the opening and closing address at the Live Keynote Arena, which will host a range of the leading and most influential speakers from across the defence procurement and supply chain marketplace.
Attendees will have an invaluable opportunity to hear directly from those personnel who are actively engaged in both setting and delivering the direction of the UK’s defence procurement and supply chain strategy.
The Area will feature keynotes from the MOD’s Chief Commercial Officer, Andrew Forzani; Jeegar Kakkad, Chief Economist and Director of Policy at leading defence trade association ADS, and the new Chief Executive of the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl), Gary Aitkenhead.
Finally, with so much on offer, what is Mr Mosco most looking forward to at DPRTE 2018?
“The Ministry of Defence and the defence sector change quickly. There are rapid changes in senior personnel, and emerging new threats and priorities which defence must deal with to protect the UK. So as well as catching up with old friends and colleagues, I’m hoping to learn about the new developments and priorities, and how MOD is shaping up to deal with the constant pressure to get more capabilities from limited budgets.”
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