COVID-19 –  Testing for Defence Suppliers

The government has updated its policy regarding who is eligible for Coronavirus (COVID-19) testing in England to include:

  • all essential workers including NHS and social care workers with symptoms
  • anyone over 65 with symptoms
  • anyone with symptoms whose work cannot be done from home
  • anyone who has symptoms of coronavirus and lives with any of those identified above

Some Defence contractors will fall into the above categories. For more information please visit:

Coronavirus: Defence Updates

The Ministry of Defence has announced some new information and guidance for businesses during coronavirus (COVID-19).

Letter from Jim Carter, Commercial Director Supply Chain: Covid-19 Guidance to Defence Industry suppliers


Defence Procurement Policy Note 01/20 Responding to COVID-19


Defence Procurement Policy Note 02/20 Responding to COVID-19


Covid-19 Defence Furlough and Interim Payment Policy Note


DPRTE 2020: New Date Released

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Defence Procurement, Research, Technology & Exportability (DPRTE 2020) has been re-scheduled to take place on 3 September 2020; the event will remain at the Farnborough International Exhibition and Conference Centre.

Grow your business at DPRTE

DPRTE is a must-attend event if your business is looking to grow its defence client base. The defence marketplace in the UK is worth over £20 billion a year, with lucrative opportunities available for both new and existing suppliers.

Not only can suppliers strengthen ties and communication with the Ministry of Defence and its prime contractors, but there are also numerous opportunities to learn at the event’s various dedicated Knowledge Transfer Zones.

What’s going on at DPRTE 2020

The 2020 event will bring together over 1500 key defence industry decision makers. Supported by the Ministry of Defence, DPRTE provides a unique platform for both buyers and suppliers across the supply chain to engage within a strong range of interactive and educational features, including:

  • DPRTE Product Showcase Exhibition (featuring over 100 suppliers)
  • Live Keynote Arena, featuring talks from industry leaders in defence, including the MOD and Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl)
  • Five Knowledge Transfer Zones: Supply Chain and Partnering, Infrastructure and Estates, Technology and Innovation, Procurement Skills, and Doing Business with the US DoD
  • Six Networking and Collaboration Zones: unique areas offering buyers and suppliers the chance to engage with key personnel and organisations representing a range of diverse sectors

Keynote Arena

As always, there will be an impressive line-up at the Live Keynote Arena for DPRTE 2020. These sessions will be led by some of the defence sector’s most influential leaders and speakers.

The 2020 event will include a range of talks covering a number of important subjects, from supporting the wider defence supply chain, to innovative techniques for procuring defence medical supplies, to the evolution of technology within counterterrorism, among others.

Commercial Strategies Ltd CEO and former Ministry of Defence Commercial Director, Les Mosco will once again be chairing the arena. Mr Mosco will welcome Chief Commercial Officer at the MOD, Andrew Forzani to open the sessions with a keynote address.

Dstl’s Division Head, Defence and Security Analysis, Rob Solly will be next up. This session will focus on the key role agencies play in exploiting technical innovation when contributing to the UK’s defence and security.

Fayola-Maria Jack, Head of Defence Commercial, Air and Jonathan Pollock, Navy Command Deputy Director Commercial also have a slot. Not to be missed, delegates can expect a highly engaging roundtable discussion on communicating with the Front Line Commands.

This is just a selection of the speakers appearing at the event; for more information, view the DPRTE pre-event planner. 

Global opportunity

Protecting territory and keeping citizens safe are key priorities for all nations across the globe.

Global trends such as shifting balances of power, rising nationalism and the emergence of new digital battlefields are redefining the geopolitical landscape.

This ever-evolving political and security environment is creating a stimulus to increase investment in defence and the requirement to spend more effectively as nations look to protect their own interests.

Joining the UK MOD at DPRTE 2020 are the US Department of Defense (DoD) and the Australian Government – which gives delegates a chance to network on a truly global scale.

Gateway to the defence marketplace

DPRTE has been successfully supporting the defence procurement market since 2012, and will continue to do so for many years to come, enabling buyers and suppliers across the defence sector and wider supply chain to collaborate and streamline their future procurement strategies together.

If you are interested in meeting defence procurement experts from across the world, join over 1500 delegates at DPRTE 2020 on 3 September.

Register now

COVID-19: Financial support for businesses

The Covid Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF): information for those seeking to participate in the scheme

Ideally companies should have an investment grade rating, if not the BoE advises either:

  • Their existing bank may be able to say the company is viewed internally as equivalent to investment grade as at 1 March 2020. The Bank will then make an assessment based on a range of existing information.
  • Major credit rating agencies may also to be able to confirm credit quality in a form that can be shared with BoE and HM Treasury.

Please read a list of FAQs for SMEs.


Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)

 The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) provides financial support to smaller businesses (SMEs) across the UK that are losing revenue, and seeing their cashflow disrupted, as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

The scheme is a part of a wider package of government support for UK businesses and employees. Read more at the Government’s Business Support website.


Team Hersa – Covid 19

Team Hersa, the MOD Centre of Excellence for Laser and RF Directed Energy Weapons, understand that industry will face difficulties during the challenging times generated by the Covid-19 outbreak.

Team Hersa has received business case approval for the portfolio of Capability Demonstrators and we currently intend to hold our existing milestones. Our expectation is to initiate the competitions in April and award contracts to successful bidders before the end of 2020.

We understand that this may create difficulties for industry and will look to understand the impact as the situation unfolds, considering, if necessary, an adjustment to the timelines but this would be applied to all bidders when the competitions are initiated.

More information will follow as the Covid-19 situation develops.

How the MOD is responding to COVID-19

As concerns rise over the Coronavirus pandemic, the UK Ministry of Defence has announced it will increase its response to provide necessary extra resources to assist the public services. The MOD will work alongside the UK Government in a bid to help tackle the virus, with heightened MOD presence in place to relieve pressure on the NHS and ensure the science field has the resources it requires for extensive testing.

Defence Contracts Online is the official defence contracts portal for the Ministry of Defence – here DCO outlines the Department’s Coronavirus response.

The MOD and the COVID Support Force

The Ministry of Defence has stated an additional 10,000 military personnel will join the COVID Support Force – on top of the 10,000 that are already being held on high readiness. The Support Force will consist of 20,000 specialist servicemen and women who are trained to assist public services, local authorities and citizens.

Other steps in the MOD’s Coronavirus response include:

  • The training of 150 military personnel to drive oxygen tankers to support the NHS if required. Training for this will begin imminently.
  • Reservists have been called upon should they be required to join the response effort. This measure has been put in place to increase military numbers.
  • Supporting Public Health England’s efforts to understand the virus and tackle its spread by using scientists from the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) to conduct testing.

These are by no means the first actions the Ministry of Defence has taken since the start of the Coronavirus outbreak. The military has already assisted with repatriation flights from China and Japan, and has been instrumental in providing public health services, local authorities and emergency services with contingency planning and crisis management assistance.

Not only is the military designed to respond to challenging times such as these, the MOD has implemented well-rehearsed mechanisms to ensure its actions are effective, efficient and work to protect the lives of UK citizens. This was demonstrated recently, when the Armed Forces were called upon to assist citizens in the north of England after winter storms caused severe flood damage.

The Defence Secretary, Ben Wallace, echoed this sentiment in his reassuring statement:

“The men and women of our Armed Forces stand ready to protect Britain and her citizens from all threats, including COVID-19. The unique flexibility and dedication of the Services means that we are able to provide assistance across the whole of society in this time of need.”

The MOD is supporting NHS supplies

To further assist the NHS, the Ministry of Defence has confirmed it will provide as many ventilators to the health service as possible, after concerns over the resources available to the NHS mounted. Although this is reportedly only a small fraction of the number of ventilators believed ultimately to be needed nationally, it demonstrates the extent to which all areas of defence are engaged with government departments as they work together to contain and manage the pandemic. The MOD will continue to advise the devolved administrations as well as local authorities on how the Department can best support them over the coming weeks and months.

It is now widely understood that it will require a national effort to tackle the virus and support ventilator production – crucial equipment for patients who are unable to breathe on their own. The Government has therefore made an official call for organisations who can help in the production and supply of ventilators, in order to achieve its objective of producing 20,000 additional machines as quickly as possible.

This is an opportunity for new and existing defence suppliers who work across a range of specialisms to play their part in the Coronavirus response. The work of suppliers will not only give the NHS increased patient capacity in hospitals, but will also potentially save thousands of lives. As we navigate our way as a nation through these challenging times, the role of defence procurement has never been more important.

How your organisation can help

If you think your business might be able to help with the response to Coronavirus (COVID-19), register your details here

All information provided in this article is given in good faith. However, to the extent that any actions taken in relation to matters concerning procurement, the above article does not constitute legal advice to you. The contents of these articles are not to be construed as legal advice or a substitute for such advice, which you should obtain from your own legal advisors if required. We are not and shall not be held responsible for anything done or not done by you as a result of the information provided.


The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy are looking for organisations who can support in the supply of ventilators and ventilator components across the United Kingdom as part of the Government’s response to COVID-19. They are seeking suppliers with the ability to design, manufacture or supply the below components, in addition to those who have/provide medical training or logistics capabilities.

Further details, including how suppliers can respond is available here:

  • Air Compressors / Pumps
  • Bellows
  • Self-inflating bags
  • Gas mixing valves
  • Pressure Regulators
  • Flow Control valves
  • Solenoid valves
  • Pressure relief valves
  • Check valves / one-way valves
  • Industrial Automation components (Safety Relays, PLCs)
  • Power Supplies
  • Electric Motors, and motor controllers
  • Linear actuators and controllers
  • Tubing and fittings
  • Pressure Sensors and Indicators
  • Oxygen Sensors and Indicators
  • Flow Sensors and Indicators
  • Manometers
  • Heat and moisture exchanging filters (HMEFs)
  • Air Filter, HEPA Filters

Exciting new opportunities in human and social science research

Are you an expert in human, behavioural or social sciences research? Maybe you’re a wizard with statistics and data science, or a skilled facilitator that can lead multidisciplinary workshops and research sandpits. Can your organisation find innovative solutions to defence and security research challenges?

We are looking for new members to join the 100+ SMEs, universities and major corporations which have already signed up to the Human Social Science Research Capability Framework.


What sort of opportunities exist?

We commission defence and security research and advisory tasks (ranging from £20k to £1m+) across six technical themes:

  • Personnel
  • Training and education
  • Humans in systems
  • Human performance
  • Understanding and influencing human behaviour
  • Health, wellbeing and enhancing medical systems and capabilities


Who are the HSSRC Framework’s Customers?

The framework is available to the Ministry of Defence and other UK Government departments including the Home Office, the Ministry of Justice, the College of Policing, and Departments for Education, Transport, International Trade and Work & Pensions.


Do suppliers need experience in defence or security?

We are keen to hear from organisations with expertise in delivering high-quality research across all sectors, and really value the different experience, perspectives and insights they can bring.


Are smaller suppliers really welcome?

Definitely! To date, 48% of research tasks by value have been awarded to SMEs, with 17% awarded to micro enterprises (those with fewer than 10 employees).


How does the HSSRC support suppliers?

We understand that suppliers, especially smaller organisations or those new to defence and security, might need some extra support. Our small and approachable project team is here to help by:

  • Responding promptly to any questions you might have
  • Providing guidance on what a proposal should contain
  • Publishing the assessment criteria that are used to inform competition decisions
  • Offering constructive feedback on proposals
  • Running regular face-to-face engagements and networking events


In addition, once a task has been awarded, technical leads from the HSSRC Framework and our customer organisations will be available to support new suppliers and provide domain-specific knowledge.


How do I take part?

We run regular competitions, with new opportunities published to all members. Our suppliers have a wide range of complementary skills and experience, and we encourage them to work together in multidisciplinary teams to address research challenges – the regular networking events are a great way to meet and share ideas with other suppliers.

 If you would like more information on the HSSRC or are interested in joining the supplier network, please get in touch with the team at