‘Collaborate to Innovate with MBDA’ visits Northern Ireland SMEs

Representatives from the ‘Collaborate to Innovate with MBDA’ team – in partnership with ADS, the UK trade association advancing leadership in aerospace, defence, security and space – recently held a meet the buyer event with businesses in Northern Ireland to discuss future opportunities to work together or become part of our supply chain nationally or even globally.

Simon Wadey, MBDA’s Open Innovation Lead, and who led the company’s delegation in Northern Ireland, explained why they went:

“Over the past few years, our approach as a company has been to make ourselves available at major defence exhibitions for meetings with potential partners or suppliers. However, we recognise that not every business can attend such events and we don’t want to miss out on the potential we believe exists across the UK, beyond our established bases, so we are going out and looking for it.”

Partnering with ADS Northern Ireland (ADS NI), Simon and his team benefited from local knowledge and contacts to maximise the opportunity to meet ADS NI members in the region who wanted to work on innovative defence projects.

Leslie Orr, Director ADS NI said:

“It was great to host MBDA in Belfast, we have many outstanding companies in Northern Ireland that are keen to grow in the Defence sector. We would like to thank Mark Harrison and Simon Wadey who gave presentations showcasing MBDA and highlighting key areas of interest for collaboration. The local companies very much valued the 1-2-1 meetings with the global defence prime.”

Mark Harrison, Senior Procurement Executive part of MBDA’s delegation in Northern Ireland, added:

“It was a great opportunity to develop and run such an event and meet a great range of companies. It builds on the links MBDA have with hi-tech businesses in Northern Ireland. We want to meet businesses that believe their work is novel or cutting edge, that are forward-thinking and looking to grow further. Even if a business has never worked in defence before. From those perspectives, I think it was a valuable and successful event.”

Through collaboration, MBDA always seeks to build partnerships that deliver innovation and technical excellence. It works with like-minded companies, SMEs and start-ups to identify the latest and future technologies. In this way, MBDA seeks to build lasting relationships that enhance the military capabilities of its customers, both at home and with their allies, protecting their sovereignty.

MBDA is part of some of the UK Defence sector’s most cutting-edge projects. High-profile examples include the DragonFire laser directed energy weapon, the Storm Shadow cruise missile and Team Tempest – developing the technologies needed for the next-generation combat aircraft.

More events are planned in 2024 and businesses that think they have what the Defence industry needs can find out more from ADS.

(L to R) Leslie Orr, Director ADS NI, Mark Harrison, MBDA, Gary Kerr, ADS NI Business Development Manager, Simon Wadey, MBDA

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