BIS Aerospace, Marine and Defence Sector Team

The team supports the growth of the aerospace, marine and defence sectors.

This is achieved through the development and implementation of sector growth strategies, working in partnership with the senior-level industry leaders and trade bodies – to ensure the UK has the right framework to increase its competitiveness and improve its comparative advantage.


UK has the number one aerospace industry in Europe, and globally is number 2 behind the USA. We have key strengths in some of the most complex parts of aircraft. The sector supports 230,000 jobs; has an annual turnover of around £24billion of which over 70% is exported. The sector offers huge growth opportunities; for example, between now and 2030 some 27,000 new large passenger aircraft are required, worth almost $4trillion; and in the same period some 40,000 new civil helicopters worth $165billion are needed.

The Aerospace Industrial Strategy (AIS) was published in March 2013 and sets out an ambitious programme to keep the UK firmly at the forefront of world aerospace manufacturing. It has been developed jointly by Government and Industry through the Aerospace Growth Partnership.

Delivery of the strategy will be supported by the creation of an Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI), backed with joint Government /industry R&D investment of over £2billion over the next seven years (from 2013/14), The ATI will consist of a small core team – around 30 staff – primarily seconded from industry and academia, who will lead on strategy development, prioritise areas for work, scope programmes, map where capabilities exist in the UK, and assess actions needed to increase capability. However, the R&D programmes funded under the ATI programme will be carried out at a range of locations across the UK through collaborative projects involving a wide range of industrial and academic partners. This will ensure that the benefit of the R&D investment is widespread across the sector, spanning the breadth of the UK.


The Defence Industry in the UK is a vital sector of the economy and supplies world class equipment, services and support to our Armed Forces and others around the world. Industry estimates that in 2012 it contributed over £22 billion to the UK economy and employed well over 100,000 people in highly skilled jobs in companies large and small throughout the supply chain. As an exporter of defence equipment and services, the UK is number one in Europe and second only to the US globally, with exports alone generating £8.8billion in 2012.

The establishment of a Defence Growth Partnership (DGP) was announced by the Prime Minister at Farnborough 2012. The DGP brings Government and Industry together and is jointly chaired by MBDA UK Managing Director Steve Wadey and Business Minister Michael Fallon, with major UK Defence firms, Defence trade organisation ADS group, and Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology Philip Dunne.

In September 2013 the DGP published ‘Securing Prosperity – A Strategic Vision for the UK Defence Sector’. It sets out how Government and Industry working together can maximise opportunities for the long term success of the UK defence sector, helping firms get ahead and stay ahead in areas like air capabilities, electronics, software and systems integration. This long term commitment is essential to strengthen the UK’s position, maximise new opportunities for inward investment and exports, and generate new jobs in companies of all sizes.

At the Farnborough International Airshow in the summer of 2014 we will publish a full implementation plan to take the Industry forward. To help deliver this the DGP is focusing on building on the UK’s strengths across a number of areas:

  • air capabilities - which have yielded 82% of UK defence export success over the last 10 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


The UK Marine Sector is a highly diverse sector including everything from small leisure boats right through to complex naval warships and all the equipment and support associated with them. The sector generates over £10 billion turnover and employing nearly 90,000 people.

A strategy for Growth for the UK Marine Industries was published in September 2011. It is the first integrated UK strategy for the marine industries and establishes a foundation for ambitious but sustainable long-term growth. The Marine Industries Leadership Council, which brings together Government and Industry, are implementing the strategy. Good progress is being made in all three of the key areas of focus – technology, exports and skills.

In September 2013, the Technology Strategy Board will announce the successful bidders for the £8 million Vessel Efficiency Research and Development Programme. This was the first of its kind in the UK and having demonstrated the capacity of the industry to come forward with high quality research projects the TSB will be investing a further £3 million in the marine sector in the year ahead.

In January 2013, the Business Minister Michael Fallon, announced the Marine Export Strategy, which sets out the UK’s priorities for supporting exports and attracting inward investment


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