UK Defence Growth Partnership (DGP) to support defence industry

UK DGP logoSteve Wadey UK Managing Director of MBDA, and Business Minister Michael Fallon are the two co-chair of the Defence Growth Partnership (DGP) – a new partnership between industry and government, with the scope to support the UK’s defence industry sector  that is a significant contributor to the UK’s economy, with more than £22 billion of annual revenues of which £5.4 billion is from exports. Government already plays a leading role in promoting defence exports and encouraging defence SMEs.

The DGP is continuing this work – but will also look at how links between civil and military technologies can be better exploited. In addition, it will look at the skills required for the sector and how there can be more flexibility in the workforce between the defence sector and advanced manufacturers.

The government’s economic policy objective is to achieve ‘strong, sustainable and balanced growth that is more evenly shared across the country and between industries’. It set four ambitions in the ‘Plan for Growth’ (PDF 1.7MB), published at Budget 2011:

  1. To create the most competitive tax system in the G20
  2. To make the UK the best place in Europe to start, finance and grow a business
  3. To encourage investment and exports as a route to a more balanced economy
  4. To create a more educated workforce that is the most flexible in Europe.

Key UK strengths that the Defence Growth Partnership will maximise include:

  • air capabilities – which have yielded 82% of UK defence export success over the last ten years and which have significant potential for growth
  • intelligent systems – development of the electronics, software and systems integration that are found at the heart of many military capabilities
  • growing international business – developing more coordinated UK solutions, tailored to the needs of customers around the world
  • technology and enterprise – establishing more effective ways of creating and exploiting the intellectual property of the future, such as autonomous systems.
  • skills – developing the next generation of apprentices, technicians, engineers and other professionals
  • value chain competitiveness – improving the competitiveness of the UK’s defence value chain, providing differentiation in terms of capability, cost and market access.

Work is underway across government to achieve these ambitions, including progress on more than 250 measures as part of the Growth Review. Developing an Industrial Strategy gives new impetus to this work by providing businesses, investors and the public with more clarity about the long-term direction in which the government wants the economy to travel.

How to get involved in the DGP

As a Government-Industry partnership, the DGP is an opportunity for companies at all levels of the UK industrial value chain to help build on our strengths and deliver enhanced growth and prosperity for the UK.  From Prime Contractors to SMEs, engagement from a broad base of participants is crucial to ensure that the DGP strategic vision becomes a reality. (To find out how your company can get involved in the DGP, please contact

Industry Questionnaire

The DGP is now working towards publishing a full implementation plan for the sector in the summer of 2014 and is seeking wide industry involvement in the process. As an initial survey to identify opportunities for growth in the UK defence sector and to identify companies interested in contributing to the DGP, we ask that your organisation please complete the DGP Industry Questionnaire.

Progress status

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        Business Minister Michael Fallon said: “The UK’s defence sector is world class – employing the latest technology and advanced engineering to products relied upon by armed forces around the world. In doing so, it provides many thousands of highly skilled jobs in the UK and is an important part of the nation’s industrial base. “Along with other parts of the economy, the sector is facing tough times. This new partnership between government and industry will help address the barriers to growth for the sector.”

Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology Philip Dunne said: “The MOD has active engagement with the defence industry which faces testing times as defence budgets come under pressure across the world. It is important for Government and business to understand each other and work together. “The Defence Growth Partnership will help us to confront these challenges and build on existing relationships and industry successes to date – helping the UK defence industry maintain its position as the world’s second largest exporter of new Defence products and services.”

AGP is seen as a model engagement process between government and industry; it builds on the successful Aerospace Growth Partnership model which is a new approach to government-industry relations in the growing and high potential aerospace sector. A vision document for the aerospace sector was launched by Business Secretary Vince Cable at the Farnborough International Airshow in July.

Source: Department for Business, Innovation & Skills, Thales, RUSI,

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