Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson has reaffirmed his commitment to growing Defence’s contribution to UK economic growth, setting out a new package of measures to drive productivity and innovation in the sector…

In July 2018, Philip Dunne MP published a review of the economic value of Defence, highlighting the crucial role the sector plays in supporting over 260,000 jobs and contributing on average £7bn in exports each year. The Ministry of Defence invested £18.9bn with UK industry in 2017/18 which supported 115,000 jobs across the country.

Ahead of a Prosperity Conference, bringing together leading defence industry partners in the Manufacturing Technology Centre in Coventry, the Defence Secretary announced:

  • £500k investment from the Defence Innovation Fund for a pilot programme with industry to further strengthen the international competitiveness and productivity of the UK defence sector
  • A joint programme supported by Invest Northern Ireland and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy to pilot a Defence Technology Exploitation Programme in Northern Ireland, worth an expected £1.2m in Research and Development investment
  • A commitment to working with the Welsh Government on the potential for an Advanced Manufacturing Research Institute alongside the Defence Electronics and Components Agency in North Wales to cement the region as a centre of excellence for innovation

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said: “These announcements demonstrate the progress we are making in our commitment to boost Defence’s contribution to national prosperity. Our world-class defence sector operates at the very forefront of innovation, supporting 260,000 jobs and increasing economic growth throughout the UK.”

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