NDI director reflects on MoD’s Industrial Policy

Posted on 11 Jan 2018 and read 1175 times
NDI director reflects on MoD’s Industrial PolicyCommenting on the MoD’s recently published “refreshed industrial policy”, Andy Tüscher — director of NDI (www.eef.org.uk) (which offers supply chain sourcing and development services to businesses of all sizes in the defence, aerospace, space and security sectors) — said it refines the Government’s approach to military procurement and equipment support, bringing it “closer in spirit” to the UK’s third National Security Objective — ‘to promote our prosperity’ — first established in the 2015 Security and Defence Review.

“This is positive progress from the MoD and good news for industry; both the EEF and the NDI welcome its publication. Together, we have been vociferous in demanding recognition that national security and economic prosperity go
hand in hand, each the guarantee of the other.

“In setting out an intent to invest more of our defence budget here in the UK, the Government now has the opportunity to capitalise on a sector that makes a real difference to our national wealth, turning over £23 billion a year, recording an annual average of more than £8 billion in exports and growing 10% during this decade to date. This supports more than 140,000 jobs, or one in every 200 — right across the country.

“I particularly welcome the MoD’s new commitment to take better account of the full economic impact of its investment decisions when determining best ‘value for money”; advantages to the UK Exchequer through revenue, exports and employment will now be factored into MoD buying decisions.

"This also protects against the long-term risk that, through lack of investment, the UK might fall away from the top table of nations with access to cutting-edge military technology. We can’t afford to assume that we will always have this by virtue of the benevolence of our allies.”

Mr Tüscher says this MoD commitment is not just relevant to decisions about prime contractors, because even when equipment is — by necessity — sourced from an overseas supplier, the UK supply chain is usually well positioned to add real value and content.

“This must be a determining factor in procurement decisions, and it is imperative that the MoD uses its leverage to incentivise contractors to do more in the UK . . . Typhoon for instance, supports 40,000 jobs in the UK, not just at BAE Systems and Rolls-Royce, but throughout a long supply chain that touches every region of the country.

“Of course, setting out a policy is the easy part. The task for the MoD now is to put the policy into practice, which might be easier said than done in the current climate.”

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