On 30th June, MBDA’s Industrial Policy and Supply Chain Management (IPSCM) in the UK, in association with UKTI Defence & Security Organisation (DSO), hosted a ‘Meet the Technologist Day’. It was a prime example of how IPSCM is looking to drive innovation and growth in Small & Medium Enterprises in the UK, reinforcing its role as an industrial leader in the UK defence industry. After mailing out to over 7000 potential SMEs, 63 companies passed the initial selection and 60 technical experts attended on the day representing 34 companies.
Of the 34 companies reviewed by our Technical Experts we intend to follow up on 32 of the companies interviewed with further in depth discussions. The Innovation Labs “market stall” generated another 5 ideas using the IDEAS software and these are being directed to the correct “Technical Experts” in MBDA for consideration and possibly follow up.
The day was opened by Mr Stephen Phipson CBE head of the Defence and Security Organisation (DSO). The Minister of State for Defence Procurement, Mr Philip Dunne MP delivered the key note speech, he emphasised that the MoD was committed to SMEs and had put in place new initiatives to cut red tape thus making it easier for them to win and sustain government contracts. He congratulated MBDA on its pro-activeness in holding events, such as this. MBDA UK Managing Director and MBDA’s Executive Group Director Technical, Dave Armstrong responded emphasising the fact that the UK SME community is a fundamental part of our current supply chain, our future supply base and potentially a driver of our technology roadmap. Dave Armstrong said :
Much like the Defence Forces we support, we constantly need to develop, adapt and adopt new technology to remain at the cutting edge of the Complex Weapons field. We rely on partnerships and work with the wider UK Defence industry and in particular the SME supply base to partner with us in driving innovation, developing concepts and delivering game-changing solutions.
An analysis of the feedback forms completed by the attendees shows a 94% satisfaction with the day and 96% would recommend such a day to their colleagues. “Thank-you for co-ordinating the event, a most productive day, lots of follow-up to do back at base. We look forward to hearing from the MBDA Team in due course.” – Plextek Consulting
“On behalf of Teledyne Defence, I would like to thank you and your team for a valuable and interesting day. I look forward to hearing from you in due course.” – Teledyne Defence
MBDA sees the success of the day as another step in the creation of a collaborative Research & Development community with SMEs that will continue to deliver new and innovative solutions across our defence markets. This will help broaden MBDA’s portfolio of innovative technology solutions for customers while continuing to build successful relationships with our supply chain.
Tony Payne, MBDA Group Head of Supply Chain Management