MOD: ‘Formidable’ UK defence to create opportunities

mod_signThe MOD has said that the UK’s defence forces are ‘formidable’ and that cuts to budgets have not affected military standards or capabilities, predicting new opportunities for those eager to grow their business in the defence industry.

£160bn defence equipment spend

In its statement, the MOD said: “Over the next decade, we plan to spend £160bn on equipment, to ensure our armed forces retain their formidable range of cutting-edge capabilities and ability to project power across the globe, including by maintaining our major naval presence in the Gulf Region.

“Construction of the first new aircraft carrier, the largest ship the Royal Navy has ever operated, is almost complete and the navy will also operate state-of-the-art Type 45 destroyers, new Type-26 Frigates, and seven new Astute Class submarines.”

Former Defence Secretary Liam Fox said that Britain was “one of only four or five countries inside NATO” to meet the target of spending 2% of GDP on defence.

He added that while America is the world’s biggest economy with the world’s biggest defence budget, the UK is currently the world’s eighth biggest economy with the fourth biggest defence budget, calming fears that standards had slipped.

UK defence capability

The statements from the MOD and Liam Fox come after former US defence secretary Robert Gates claimed that cuts to the UK’s armed forces will limit the country’s ability to be a major player on the world stage.

Speaking on the UK’s defence budgets recently, former US defence secretary Robert Gates had suggested that the squeezed budgets would limit UK defence capability and would mean that the UK could no longer be considered a full military partner with the US.

Mr Gates said: “With the fairly substantial reductions in defence spending in Great Britain, what we’re finding is that it won’t have full spectrum capabilities and the ability to be a full partner as they have been in the past.”

The statement comes a month after the UK’s top military officer said that the cuts meant that the military had the right equipment but not the personnel to operate it.

General Sir Nick Houghton, Chief of the Defence Staff, said the structure of the army, navy and air force were “critically deficient” in crucial areas, particularly in terms of manpower.

Under the government’s plans, by 2020 the Army will lose 20,000 personnel, the Royal Navy 6000 and the RAF 5000.

battleshipCuts to budgets have also affected the Navy’s capabilities. At present the UK has no operation aircraft carrier, and just weeks ago the Navy scrambled to respond to a Russian ship entering Scottish waters. A lack of ships based in Scotland due to defence cuts meant that the closest warship, HMS Defender, took 24 hours to reach the ship after sailing from Portsmouth.

Finding defence opportunities

With budgets under scrutiny, organisations looking to do business with the MOD and other public sector bodies have to make sure they gain full visibility of all the opportunities available to them.

MOD Defence Contracts Online is your gateway to additional defence opportunities in 2014.

Last year businesses like yours had access to over 202,600 defence contract opportunities with Defence Contracts International (DCI), including contracts from: aerospace, aviation, homeland security, counter terrorism, emergency services and humanitarian aid.

Defence Contracts International is the largest contract tender awards database in Europe.

Many public bodies have requirements that your business could fulfil, including those in the MOD and outside the defence and security sectors − a further opportunity to grow your business.

Click here to find out more about defence and civil contract opportunities on offer today.

MOD DCO Webinars – a new way to win more business

Webinar screen | MOD DCO2013 has been an exciting year for MOD Defence Contracts Online (MOD DCO) as we kicked off our new webinar Success programme. MOD DCO registrants have been:

Exploring how the MOD are helping suppliers and SMEs;
Discovering where the MOD are planning to spend £160bn;
Learning how to optimise their MOD DCO profile to help them win more business; and
Asking our Defence Contracts Sourcing Experts their questions.

Register today by selecting a date below to secure your place in our next winning webinar (below).

Previous Webinar Q&A – 28 November 2013

We welcomed MOD DCO registrants looking to learn how to win more business. Attendees were given the chance to ask their questions and have them answered by our experts, some of which are detailed below.

Q: Are there SME-specific opportunities available from the MOD’s £160bn spend plan?

A: Yes – the MOD have announced that 15% of their annual spend will go to SMEs by 2015 either directly or indirectly.

To find out about these opportunities first it is essential that you have registered your business on DCO and also have your profile set up correctly.

Q : How often should I be updating my MOD DCO alert profile?

A: We recommend updating or reviewing your profile on a regular basis to ensure you are not missing out on any new contracts. Use both keywords and CPV codes where possible. If you require any help or advice when reviewing your profile you can contact our experts by emailing

Q: If there is no CPV code for what we do, how can we quickly search for our product?

A: Keywords are just as powerful as CPV codes. Your alert will show all contracts, backdated by three months, that contain your keywords anywhere within that contract.

Register today to join the conversation.

With only a limited number of places available, click below and register today to avoid disappointment.

Are you ready to win more business with MOD DCO in 2014?

MOD DCO WebClinic: Create a Winning Alert Profile 3rd November 2020 - 11:00

DCI WebClinic: How to Find and Win New Defence and Civil Business 17th November 2020 - 11:00

MOD DCO WebClinic: Create a Winning Alert Profile 1st December 2020 - 11:00

DCI WebClinic: How to Find and Win New Defence and Civil Business 8th December 2020 - 11:00


HMS Bulwark helps promote UK economy

HMS Bulwark | MOD Defence Contracts OnlineHMS Bulwark hosted a Defence and Security Industry Day (DSID), sponsored by UK Trade and Investment (UKTI), on her recent visit to Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates.

The Plymouth-based Fleet Flagship, in the Gulf to lead the Response Force Task Group’s Cougar 13 deployment, invited eight defence sector companies to display their products at the event.

BMT Defence Services, Dytecna, Holyhead Marine, MBDA Missile Systems, QinetiQ, Selex ES, Thales UK and BAE Systems were all in attendance in support of the International Defence Engagement Strategy which assists UK defence sales and international defence industry cooperation.

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology (Min DEST), Mr Philip Dunne MP, and Her Majesty’s Ambassador (HMA) to the United Arab Emirates, His Excellency Mr Dominic Jermey, opened the event.

The day provided an opportunity for key individuals from across the UAE military leadership and security sectors to engage with UKTI representatives to promote UK defence sales using the operational backdrop of the Fleet Flagship.

Min DEST Philip Dunne said: “HMS Bulwark provides the perfect backdrop for the Defence and Security Industry Day enabling UK businesses to effectively promote their products and services in the maritime sector. Defence exports are an important part of our economy and events such as these allow us to engage with our allies such as the UAE to improve our interoperability.”

Cyber security: protection through partnership

Peter ArmstrongThe Ministry of Defence has set out to boost the UK’s cyber security, in partnership with a number of the country’s leading defence firms. Here, Peter Armstrong, Director of Cyber Security at Thales UK, one of the firms involved, outlines for MOD DCB the partnership’s key priorities for the year ahead.

A report released earlier this year by KPMG revealed that British FTSE 350 firms are failing to keep their networks safe, and as a result are putting the safety of Britain’s economy and national security under threat due to simple flaws in web security. And it’s not just the larger firms that are causing concern; a survey by McAfee also highlighted that despite British small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) providing training in IT and security, their employees often fail to prevent breaches and data leaks. As the number of threats to British businesses rises month on month, the cyber support to allow British firms and their suppliers to help prevent the nation coming under attack becomes ever more critical.

The Ministry of Defence has acknowledged the need for better cyber security by launching the Defence Cyber Protection Partnership (DCPP) in conjunction with other government agencies and nine UK defence and telecoms firms including GCHQ, BAE Systems, BT and Thales UK. The partnership’s main focus will be to reduce threats to the UK’s defence supply chain, particularly from the aggregation of low-level risks, with the intention of eventually filtering the output down to benefit trade and industry too.

DCPP: just another cyber security partnership?

The creation of the DCPP intends to build upon the UK’s ongoing commitment to the reinforcement of the UK as a safe place to do online business; it is an important government-industry cyber initiative formed to improve the cyber defences of the MOD’s supply chain. The DCPP will work to define and apply a new standards framework that protects investments already made in cyber security, eventually rolling it out to the whole defence industry. It will achieve this by setting high standards, developing best practice, sharing real-time information about the type and extent of cyber attacks that each company is experiencing, and raising the awareness and defence posture in the defence supply chain.

Understandably there may be questions around why the Government needs to launch yet another private/public sector cyber security partnership – surely there are enough of those already? It has been compared to the Cyber Security Information Sharing Partnership (CISP) which launched in March this year to encourage information and intelligence sharing across the private and public sectors. The DCPP, though, has a clear remit to augment, refine or accelerate existing initiatives and as such will support CISP and other initiatives in this field, avoiding duplication but reinforcing the overall cyber defence posture, according to the MOD.

There will be three key activity streams to the DCPP in 2013: information sharing; development of threat-derived cyber standards and a measurement framework (spearheaded by Thales); and communication and awareness in the supply chain. The partnership will address the lack of awareness of cyber risks across the supply chain, with the DCPP partners all collaborating on these activities with a clear focus to improve standards and practices of cyber defence in the whole MOD supply chain.

Protecting the supply chain

The protection of UK companies from cyber attack is one of the most pressing national security issues of the day, identified as a UK National Tier 1 Threat, and the DCPP will encourage the supply chain to embark upon this improvement journey together, both requiring and fostering collective responsibility. Typically, companies’ IT systems and networks must, by necessity, carry large amounts of highly sensitive information, enticing cyber crooks and increasing the impact that any potential attack could make tenfold. Aeronautics giant and IT supplier to the US Pentagon, Lockheed Martin, learnt this lesson the hard way when it famously came under attack in 2011 as a result of hacks at two of its suppliers. This is a classic example of aggregated low-level risk at work.

There are currently over 50 security regulatory standards in existence across the globe, which are adopted by companies according to their geography, industry sector and unique security compliance needs. For multi-national and/or multi-sector organisations this creates a massive compliance headache when trying to improve the security maturity of one’s supply chain. The DCPP intends to create a framework that straight-forwardly compares the effectiveness of these many standards when measured against the threat-derived controls that the MOD is requiring its suppliers to embrace. This will allow organisations that have already invested in a compliance regime to preserve their investments and only augment their regime with a few additional threat-derived controls. The new framework will utilise an easy to use set of assessment frameworks with an easy to understand formula to determine the level of rigour different organisations need to apply to defence in the context of these controls.

Once the DCPP has produced its assessment framework and ensured the members themselves are complying, the members will start extending the compliance to these controls throughout their supply chains, including SMEs. In 2014 the partnership will open up its membership to other firms and eventually to firms in other industries, enabling greater collaboration across the country to tackle the growing threat of cyber attacks on the supply chain.

Spreading the word

The DCPP will enable a collaborative approach to cyber defence across the entire MOD supply chain, and will ensure that every stage of the procurement, manufacturing and delivery process is as secure as it can possibly be. It is imperative that UK businesses acknowledge that cyber attacks are now ranked as a Tier 1 threat to national security, and understand that any company of any size can be hit in a chain of attack.

For more information, visit:

Improve your defence procurement knowledge at DPRTE 2013

DPRTE 2013Summary: The agenda and keynote speakers have been announced for this year’s DPRTE 2013 event, displaying the breadth of defence procurement knowledge and expertise available to discover at the event.

The Ministry of Defence and MOD DCO are joining forces at the Defence Procurement Research, Technology and Exportability event 2013, which takes place on 20 November at the UWE Bristol Exhibition and Conference Centre. Come meet decision makers from the MOD at Stand G69.

Defence knowledge and expertise

DPRTE 2013 represents a unique opportunity to engage directly with the defence procurement community, in addition to understanding the latest initiatives and opportunities that are currently taking place within this evolving and highly lucrative marketplace.

Recognising that innovation is born of knowledge, DPRTE 2013 will host a series of innovative workshops to facilitate knowledge transfer and support our ethos of continuous learning and collaboration.

Understand the defence procurement market

Facilitated through four dedicated Knowledge Transfer Zones, the workshop schedule will provide suppliers with an unrivalled opportunity to enhance their knowledge and understanding in relation to the defence procurement marketplace.

Keynote speakers for this year’s event include: Steven Morgan, Director Commercial Operations, DE&S; Richard Brooks, Programme and Delivery Director, Dstl; and Richard Blake, Deputy Head Commercial, Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO).

In addition, the event will host exclusive Knowledge Transfer Zones: Business Growth & Export; Prime Contractor Supply Chain; Research & Technology; Buyer Procurement  Excellence.

Click here to register to attend DPRTE 2013 and take advantage of the wealth of expertise on offer.

Improve your use of MOD DCO with our Defence Contracts Sourcing Experts

Keyboard | MOD DCO WebinarSummary: With economic prospects improving for UK businesses, we want to make sure we are giving you dedicated support to ensure your business can grow and stay ahead of your competitors with Defence Contracts Online.

Your MOD DCO gives you immediate access to all UK Ministry of Defence contract opportunities over £10,000 from the only official publishers of MOD contracts – at absolutely no cost – providing you with the MOD insight you need to better your business.

Ensure you are optimising your use of MOD DCO by learning from experienced Defence Contracts Sourcing Experts through joining our free ‘Win more business with MOD DCO’ webinar. Our defence experts will take you through DCO’s features to guarantee you are getting only the most relevant business opportunities you need to supply to the MOD.

Explore how the MOD is helping suppliers
Discover where the MOD plans to spend £160bn in the next 10 years
Learn how to optimise your use of MOD DCO to win more business
Ask our Defence Contracts Sourcing Experts your questions

With only limited spaces available, register today to attend one of the dates below:

Wednesday 30 October 2013 – 11:00 [FULL]

Thursday 28 November – 13:00

Are you ready to win more business with MOD DCO?

MoD Industry Briefing

28 June – MoD intends to hold an Industry Briefing on 26 July 2013 at Intellect EnterMinistry of Defenceprise Ltd, Russell Square House,10 – 12 Russell Square, London, WC1B 5EE.  The event will commence at 1000hrs and is expected to conclude around 1600hrs.

The aim of the event is to update Industry on the LE TacCIS Programme.  This centres upon a need to ensure demonstrable value for money whilst simultaneously bearing down upon non-essential costs.  Also, in the current economic climate, it is even more imperative that industry and the MoD work together to deliver the required capability at reduced cost whilst ensuring a fair and equitable return for industry in a more transparent environment.

The day itself will consist of MoD outlining its latest thinking on the roles and responsibilities of a Delivery Partner, and the support required of a ‘Systems House’ for the development of High Level Design Requirements.  BATCIS will outline its current views on potential acquisition approaches.  This would be followed by targeted workshops to enable an early exchange of views.

Industry representatives who can contribute to the technical, commercial and business aspects are invited to register their interest in attending by the closing date of 08 July 2013. Due to limitations on numbers at the venue, preference will be given to companies with current involvement in a relevant Communications and Information Systems environment and, not necessarily current Defence suppliers of CIS elements.  In order to maximise participation in this event, BATCIS reserve the right to admit only one representative per company. Consequently, delegates are requested to submit names on ‘1+1’ basis where, if the event is over subscribed, the second named delegate would not be invited.  Any company who has expresses an interest in the Industry Day but is unsuccessful in securing a place will be sent the outputs.  The event is open to large, medium and small enterprises.


The ‘Systems House’ Construct will develop High Level Design Requirements for the LE TacCIS programme, will be selected by competition and provide expertise in the tactical communications market.

The Customer Friend role and Legacy Support aspects of the LE TacCIS programme are subject to ongoing competition and will not be discussed at this event.

Expressions of interest should be sent by Email to:

Where a representative’s Company holds/has recently held a contract within Defence CIS please state the contract number and your company’s role.

Defence opportunity and insight in the DSS Yearbook 2013

plane_45132127For suppliers large and small to the defence industry, the Defence Suppliers Service 2013 Yearbook contains the exact intelligence you need to ensure you keep up to date with developments in the industry.

The Yearbook gives you information on everything you need to succeed in the year ahead, including details of DE&S project teams, prime contractor listings and key industry contacts.

The 2013 edition also offers insight into the defence industry through features from some of the key decision makers in defence, including Philip Dunne, Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology; Gilbert Nockles of UKTI DSO, and Mike Maiden from Northern Defence Industries.

Despite the well-publicised and widespread fiscal challenges facing the UK, the latest statistics from the Public Expenditure Statistical Analyses 2012 show a healthy defence and security marketplace. Using data obtained via Tracker Spend Analysis, the DSS Yearbook breaks down UK defence spending for the last full financial year, while also giving expert projections on the future spend patterns for 2013/14 in the Spend Analysis feature.

The Yearbook is your resource for the most up to date contact details for the all-important sub-contracting opportunities you need to grow your business with the defence industry.

As a valued MOD Defence Contracts Online customer, you can take advantage of an exclusive 20% discount by purchasing the 2013 Yearbook today for just £60 (RRP £75). To reserve your copy, please visit the booking page

NDI Collaborating for Growth conference

NDI Conference | MOD DCOCollaboration is important for growth. The act of sharing knowledge, learning and building consensus is often heralded as imperative in establishing best practice, new opportunities and promoting growth.

Collaboration is important across the whole supply chain, from Primes to Tier 4 contractors. The NDI conference, held on 5-6 March at The Point, Lancashire County Cricket Ground, Manchester, brought together businesses of all sizes to discuss how SMEs can grow for the benefit of both the country and the defence industry. SMEs are a valuable link in the supply chain, employing 13 million people in the UK, and in 2012 40% of new MOD contracts – work worth over £1bn – were placed with SMEs. The NDI Conference, Collaborating for Growth, ran three breakout sessions – Growth through International Trade, Growth through Business Excellence and Growth through Investment & Finance – to discuss the key issues affecting the growth of SMEs.

Philip Dunne, Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology spoke at the event. He said:

“The existence of a strong, diverse supply chain and the vital role SMEs play in nurturing science and engineering skills combine to provide the innovation increasingly relevant to the UK’s defence needs of the 21st century.

“I am fast becoming a strident champion of SMEs working in the defence sector.”

Mr Dunne chairs an SME forum that meets three times a year to discuss the issues specifically affecting SMEs working in the defence industry. The Minister said that the MOD is keen to get SMEs involved in the supply chain, whether directly or indirectly through Prime Contractors. An example of this is the push for transparency by the MOD through the early publication of the ten-year Defence Equipment Plan and upcoming publication of the DSTL plan for investment, which will allow SMEs to plan ahead and potentially be part of the opportunities that will become available.

Mr Dunne also said:

“A vibrant UK defence industry including manufacturing, servicing and exporting is a vital part of our strategy of rebalancing the economy so we can return to sustainable growth.”

Exports play an important part in creating growth and this was a central theme at the conference. Mr Dunne made it clear that defence exports are firmly back on the agenda and said that ministers will lead delegations that include SMEs to other markets in order to help dialogue in places of growth like Brazil. He said:

“We want to help you to maximise your access to overseas markets.

 “We recognise that most defence budgets are under pressure and we want to support you in penetrating markets where there is growth, such as the Middle East, Far East and South America.

“Promoting defence exports is a core part of the MOD’s commitment to the Government’s growth agenda. We will increasingly focus our engagement with prospective partner and customer nations in a way that helps you demonstrate to them the value of long-term equipment support.”

He offered the sale of Typhoon jets to Saudi Arabia of an example of opportunity that filters down the supply chain. Mr Dunne encouraged trade associations, money permitting, to form relationships with similar associations in other countries to help promote growth and exports. He said: “Working together on exports provides the opportunity to reduce the costs of the equipment programmes for UK forces. Export customers can help to spread the costs of development programmes, or the fixed assets needed for long-term support and allow government to recoup some of its investment through the use of export levies.”

“Exports can form an essential element of our defence engagement initiatives.”

There were extensive discussions about exports at the Growth through International Trade breakout session. The UK won £8bn new overseas business across Defence and security in 2011 and it is important for the UK’s exports to grow in order to counteract fiscal pressures at home. Speaking during this session, Keith Venables, Business Development Director, UK Trade and Investment Defence and Security Organisation (UKTI DSO), said: “The UK’s reputation, particularly SMEs, is a strong factor in exporting success.”

He said that businesses have to face up to the reality that defence budgets are being squeezed in Europe and the United States so UKTI DSO has established priority markets, for instance in the Middle East in countries including Saudi Arabia, UAE, Oman, Kuwait, Qatar and Libya, where there is significant business to be won. He said growth is coming from the SME sector and that the players in the export market are changing – those who weren’t exporting in 2006 are leading the way now, while the biggest exporters in 2006 have lost £2 billion worth of exports.

Philip Doyle, Manager, Aerospace and Defence Europe, Government of Victoria, Australia, agreed that static markets in Europe and growing opportunities elsewhere may mean foreign markets may be a better way to grow a business in this economy. He was at NDI promoting business opportunities for UK companies in Victoria, and suggested building relationships and growing a market presence in the market of choice. Collaborating with a business from another market can open up opportunities in both countries.

Warren Bayliss, Assistant Head, International Relations Group, Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S), Ministry of Defence, presented the potential benefits of the US-UK Defence Trade Cooperation Treaty, which came into force in April 2012. The Treaty is extremely attractive to SMEs as it gives an exemption from International Traffic in Arms Regulations that have been found to slow down business with the US. The Treaty makes business faster, gets equipment to the UK Armed Forces more quickly and strengthens the UK’s trade relationship with the USA.

To take advantage of the Treaty, SMEs are urged to be part of an approved community; this takes six months to join and there is a vetting process. However, once a business is part of the community, the US Government will trust it and like to do business with it.

Session Two was called Growth through Business Excellence and was led by John Terry, Director of Argent Vulpes Ltd. The message behind this session was the importance of business excellence at every level in the supply chain, as well as at every level within a business. Every business in the supply chain expects business excellence from those both above and below them in the supply chain.

The one thing that Mr Terry was keen to point out was the importance of the SC21 Awards – a change programme designed to accelerate the competitiveness of the aerospace and defence industry by raising the performance of its supply chains. Having an SC21 Award improves a business’ reliability, especially if it is an SME.

Mr Terry was followed by Dr Derek Ford, Senior Industrial Fellow, IfM Education and Consultancy Services, who said businesses should prioritise their resources. He said: “Companies that exploit their core competencies do better than those who don’t.”

It is important for a business to understand its core strengths and where its priorities are to grow but Lynn Tompkins, UK Operations Director of Semta, pointed out that skills also grow businesses. She said that some SMEs are doing very well by investing in skills as it is another important element of business excellence.

Session Three was Growth through Investment and Finance, led by John Bell, Aerospace and Defence Director, Barclays Corporate Banking. The session looked at ways to fund growth through both traditional and non-traditional methods. Mr Bell was keen to promote making use of grants and subsidies, saying: “I seem to come across a new grant or growth initiative every day.”

Some interesting approaches to funding include collaboration between buyers and suppliers and joint venture bank accounts. Banks provide free advice and knowledge to businesses and Mr Bell said that not enough SMEs make use of this advice.

He urged businesses to check their eligibility for Government grants and schemes, such as the Funding for Lending Scheme, Regional Growth Fund and the Business Growth Fund, as well as checking with agencies and trade associations for possible assistance. He also suggested that SMEs should request a trade review from banks and access research by banks on markets, funding option and clients.

Chris Kirby, Managing Director of Magnomatics, was up next and passed on his first-hand knowledge of the difficulties of finding funding. He provided a very informative and hard-hitting insight on the peaks and pitfalls of searching for funding. Preparation is key in gaining investment as is networking and using the right options out of the range available to businesses.

The important lessons to take away from this event are that help is available and best practice will always heighten a business’ chances of success. Defence, including defence exports, offer opportunities for SMEs within the supply chain and are an important part of the Government’s Plan for Growth

UK marine: open to export

UK marine | MOD DCOBusiness Minister Michael Fallon recently unveiled a joint Government and industry led plan to enhance the global competitiveness of British marine business in a bid to deliver growth in the industry. MOD DCB examines the latest developments in the drive to support the UK marine sector’s export performance.  

Speaking at the Tullett Prebon London Boat Show in January, Minister of State for Business and Enterprise Michael Fallon commented on the opportunities for British exports in the marine sector in markets such as China, Brazil and South Korea and how the sector must take advantage of these opportunities.

The UK Marine Export Strategy, commissioned by the Marine Industries Leadership Council, of which Mr Fallon is Co-Chair, details those sectors of the marine industry which could benefit from greater exports and makes several recommendations as to growth opportunities to improve exportability outside Europe.

The report covers four areas of the UK marine sector: Leisure Marine, covering boat and yacht building, superyachts, small commercial workboats and associated equipment services; Commercial Marine, covering shipbuilding, ship repair and associated equipment and services, marine science and technology; Energy, covering marine-related platforms, products and services for the oil and gas and offshore renewable industries; and Naval Defence.

Commenting on the report, the Minister said: “What we can do with this evolving strategy is build the foundations for the future of the British marine industry. It forms part of our wider Industrial Strategy, which is planning the long-term success of British business. A wealth of growth opportunities exist in the global marine sector that can benefit the UK economy.

“However, as this report highlights, UK companies face challenging conditions, particularly in more traditional markets like the European Union, which is why bigger opportunities lie further afield.”

The report also details Prime Minister David Cameron’s announcement of the National Export Challenge in a bid to get an additional 100,000 UK firms exporting, and Chancellor George Osborne’s target of more than doubling the amount of UK exports to £1 trillion by 2020.

Commenting on the National Export Challenge, UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) said it will take some years to recover from decades of poor trade performances. However, the organisation has already made progress in tackling these issues including being on target to double the number of small and mid-sized businesses they help to 50,000 a year by 2015.

A spokesperson for UKTI said: “UKTI received additional funding in the 2012 Autumn Statement to boost our support for SMEs looking to export. The funding will enable us to launch a voucher scheme for up to 2500 high-growth SMEs to target emerging markets.”

Following his announcement of the National Export Challenge, the Prime Minister commented on the growth of British exports when he released a statement on the UK’s current economic performance. In the previous three years, exports to countries such as Brazil and China, where Michael Fallon has highlighted an opportunity for growth for the marine sector, have significantly increased.

The Prime Minister said: “Over the past three years our exported goods to the fastest-growing parts of the world have been soaring – Brazil, up by half; India, more than half; China, almost doubled; Russia, up by one hundred and thirty three per cent.”

In order to encourage even greater export success, UKTI provides a wide range of services to enable UK-based companies to stimulate international interest in their business. A UKTI spokesperson said: “Our global network provides tailored advice and information on business opportunities and projects, including high-growth markets, and UKTI provides support for more detailed market research.”

Navy | MOD DCOOne particularly useful resource is the ‘Open to Export’ online community. The Open to Export service is delivered by hibu (UK) Ltd, in partnership with UKTI, and is intended to support small and medium-sized enterprises looking to export from the UK. The website provides a wealth of advice and information from a host of mentors on exporting products and services in the form of opportunities, events and articles. The website also offers a Q&A service where users can obtain advice on export queries.

UKTI has taken a campaign approach to winning major international business. This has not only been successful in defence, but also in non-defence sectors such as marine. UKTI’s High Value Opportunities (HVO) programme is an important feature of this new campaigning approach. HVOs cover overseas opportunities worth at least £250 million and which are expected to generate major supply chain opportunities for SMEs.

Commenting on the HVO programme, the UKTI spokesperson said: “UKTI’s global network of staff at embassies and consulates gather early and exclusive information and intelligence on high-value projects where UK businesses have a good prospect of achieving significant business success. Our staff in the UK develop a targeted campaign around each HVO designed to help maximise the chance of UK business success.”

According to the UK Marine Export Strategy, Brazil is the most important market in terms of demand for marine projects. One particularly successful marine HVO is the Petrobras HVO in Brazil’s offshore energy sector which has had early success with GE Power Conversion’s offshore business based in Rugby. This has seen contracts signed valued in excess of £385 million for pre-salt oilfield expansion off Brazil’s east coast.  General Electric’s systems will power, propel, navigate, position and control drillships and support vessels, as well as powering and controlling the drilling process itself. The company will in fact design and build systems for no fewer than 22 of the 29 drillships working on Petrobras’s Brazilian oil and gas exploration projects.

At the moment, the UK marine sector is being jointly appraised by Government and industry. The UKTI Marine Sector Advisory Group (MSAG) and the Marine Industries Leadership Council, along with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), are compiling a report due to be released in May this year which will assess the relative strengths of UK exports. UKTI is working with BIS to gain insight into the export market and to further analyse trade statistics data.

Commenting on the upcoming report, the UKTI spokesperson said: “We expect this work will help us to identify more clearly the relevant export strengths of the different marine sub-sectors. This will greatly assist our staff who continually monitor business opportunities for large projects that could be transformed into a High Value Opportunity.”

For further information or to download the report visit: