Defence and Security Sectors Opened Up

Silverstone Technology Cluster

9th August 2021

On Thursday July 29th, a joint event by Be the Business and Silverstone Technology Cluster, provided valuable insight and guidance for SME’s to tackle the defence and security sectors.

The on-line event was opened by STC Chair Roz Bird, who explained how the event had come about via the collaboration with Be the Business, for whom STC is a Trailblazer Partner.

Proceedings then began with STC CEO, Pim van Baarsen interviewing RML Group’s Simon Holloway about their experiences of working within defence with a Tier 1 company. Simon not only shared his insight but also gave some valuable advice for fellow SME’s to engage with the defence and security sectors.

This was followed by Andrew Cowdery, Co-chair of the Defence Growth Partnership giving a presentation about the changing procurement landscape, as well as an insight into the industrial strategy for the UK defence sector.

He was joined by Susan Addison, Procurement Director-Air for BAE Systems, who shared valuable insights on BAE’s strategy to work with SME’s as well as the requirements for future capabilities and partnerships.

The changing procurement landscape was re-visited by the two national security experts who joined the event. Their presentation outlined the co-collaboration strategy and the new way of working. Their organisation ahs joined the STC and is keen to collaborate with fellow members with the STC acting as the conduit.

Andrew Kinniburgh, Director General for Make UK’s Defence division then talked about the current bid requirement and how this landscape is changing with greater focus on sustainability and equality becoming an ever more critical part of the process. He further outlined the practical support available to build skills and capability.

Roz fielded the various questions throughout the event to provide delegates with an unparalleled insight into these new sectors.

“At the STC, we are always looking to present opportunities and insights for our members, and this event is a prime example of that” commented Pim. “Through our partnership with Be the Business, we not only offer hugely value programmes like SME Advisory Boards and Mentoring for Growth, but we’ve worked with them to create this event, and they also invited a number of the specialist advisors that are available for our members to engage with, which added even more value to the networking sessions. Add that to the fact that a leading UK national security organisation has specifically chosen the STC to be their partner in engaging with SME’s and you can see how we are constantly pushing to deliver maximum value to our cluster companies.”

The recording of this event is now available on our STC Youtube channel.

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