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Press Release: New partnership to support defence industry

Senior defence industry leader Steve Wadey named as the co-chair of the Defence Growth Partnership.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government


Senior defence industry leader Steve Wadey is today named as the co-chair of the Defence Growth Partnership (DGP) – a new partnership between industry and government.

Business Minister Michael Fallon, who will also be co-chair of the DGP, announced Mr Wadey’s appointment as he underlined the importance of the defence industry to the UK economy.

Mr Wadey is UK Managing Director of missile systems company MBDA, a multi-national group with over 10,000 employees in the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Germany, Spain and the United States. He is also Executive Group Director Technical for the MBDA Group.

The UK’s defence industry is a significant contributor to the UK’s economy, contributing more than £22 billion of annual revenues of which £5.4 billion is from exports. It directly employs more than 107,000 people.

The government, working closely with industry, is determined to support the sector. Government already plays a leading role in promoting defence exports and encouraging defence SMEs.

The DGP will continue 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.

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.

Steve Wadey said:

I am delighted to accept the position of co-chair of the Defence Growth Partnership alongside Michael Fallon. The defence industry plays a vital and strategic role in the UK’s industrial, technological and manufacturing base, as well as being a major driver of exports.

We are committed to investing in the skills and industrial capability needed for future prosperity. Working in partnership with the government, the defence industry will play its role in driving growth in the UK economy.

Graham Chisnall, Deputy Chief Executive, ADS, said:

The launch of a Defence Growth Partnership, building on the growing success of the Aerospace Growth Partnership, is strongly welcomed and supported by ADS and our many hundreds of member companies large and small.

The UK Defence sector is of profound importance to national security, equipping and supporting our Armed Forces and key Allies. It is also a major economic force, contributing over £22 billion of annual revenues to the UK, of which £5.4 billion are from exports, and maintaining directly over 107,000 highly skilled jobs across the country.

The Prime Minister expressed his view at the Farnborough International Airshow in July that the AGP is seen as a model engagement process between government and industry and we look forward to a similar constructive partnership as we jointly develop a growth plan for UK defence.

The DGP 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.

Notes to editors:

  1. The Prime Minister announced the intention to form the DGP at the Farnborough International Airshow this year. Business Secretary Vince Cable is the lead Cabinet Minister for the DGP.
  2. Steve Wadey was appointed UK Managing Director of MBDA at the start of 2003, responsible for delivery of the UK Business. Steve is also Executive Group Director Technical with responsibility for the technical capability, industrial policy, company investment and advanced systems and products across the MBDA Group. In addition to his role within MBDA, Steve has been the National Defence Industries Council Research and Development Group (NDIC RDG) Co-Chairman since 2006 and in 2010 was appointed as the Industry Representative to UK MoD Research & Development Board.
  3. Further details on membership of the DGP and its exact remit will follow in due course.
  4. 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:
    • To create the most competitive tax system in the G20
    • To make the UK the best place in Europe to start, finance and grow a business
    • To encourage investment and exports as a route to a more balanced economy
    • To create a more educated workforce that is the most flexible in Europe.
  5. 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.
Published 20 December 2012