On 9 September, techUK submitted it's response to the House of Commons Defence Select Committee inquiry into Defence industrial policy: procurement and prosperity. This follows a series of policy commitments from the MOD in recent years in relation to the prosperity agenda and Defence procurement, including: 2015's Strategic Defence & Security Review, 2017's Defence Industrial Policy Refresh and 2018's Modernising Defence Programme. Further work in this area was also undertaken by Philip Dunne MP through his independent report in 2018 on “Growing the Contribution of Defence to UK Prosperity”, which produced a number of recommendations for the MOD's consideration.
Given that the scope of the inquiry and the questions it posed were broad in their nature, techUK chose to submit a thematic response on behalf of members, focused around the first question of whether the current Defence Industrial Policy is effective, and if the MOD should look to produce a new Defence Industrial Strategy.
The core messenge within our response is that techUK would welcome a new Defence Industrial Strategy, provided that a new strategy demonstrates how its policy commitments will be implemented, by coupling such commitments with a clear timeline of delivery and easily identifiable metrics of success. Alongside this, any new strategy will need to show how senior decision makers in government will ensure their policy commitments will have buy-in across the MOD and other government departments at all levels of seniority, without which inertia will undoubtably block progress.
The key themes as identified by members in our response were as follows:
- Accessing new technologies and broadening the supplier base
- A specific focus on the creation of cross-cutting technology strategies
- Ensuring that the commercial operating environment is fit for purpose
- Investing in skills and talent to contribute to the prosperity agenda
Each of these areas has been explored in detail within our response, and has put forward several recommendations for the committee based on feedback from techUK members.
You can read the full submission to the committee by downloading the pdf here.