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WESTMINSTER NEWS

New pledges for the Armed Forces announced in Queen's Speech 
The Queen's Speech prioritises both veterans and service personnel with a promise to further incorporate the Armed Forces Covenant in law.

The Government has reaffirmed its solid commitment to protecting and supporting the armed forces in the Queen’s Speech.  The Queen’s Speech, which outlines legislative priorities for the next Parliamentary session, prioritises both veterans and serving personnel with a promise to further incorporate the Armed Forces Covenant in law, and bring forward proposals to tackle vexatious claims. The Government will also maintain its commitment to spend at least 2%of GDP on defence every year of this Parliament and increase the defence budget by at least 0.5 per cent above inflation year on year.

Government to launch ‘radical assessment’ of Britain’s place in the world
The Government has promised an integrated security, defence and foreign policy review which it says will be the most “radical reassessment” of the country's place in the world since the end of the Cold War.

Funding Brexit and the National Health Service got top billing as the new Conservative government laid out its policies and legislative proposals for the coming parliamentary session in the Queens Speech in December, but defence figured in its plans as well.

In briefing notes provided by the government, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he would lead a security, defence and foreign policy reset this year covering international policy ranging from defence to diplomacy and development.

The commitment to hold the review was signalled by Mr Johnson ahead of last week’s general election when he promised a “huge technological upgrade of security forces to keep Britain safe and strengthen NATO.”

But the briefing notes contained more than a hint that the government intends to implement some fundamental changes to costs and the way the department does business.

PARLIAMENTARY QUESTIONS

Oral statement to Parliament by Defence Secretary Ben Wallace:
Update on security situation in the Middle East 
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace detailed the UK's response to events in Iraq
For the full statement please click here 

OTHER NEWS

Throughout most of 2019 the UKDSC has been progressing our Cross-Sector Innovation (CSI) objectives within the subsea domain.  In doing so we have had extensive engagements and support from a number of industry and government bodies such as MOD, Royal Navy, DASA, UKRI-Innovate UK, SUBSEA UK, NSRI, BP, OGTC, OGA and the Offshore Energy Sector (OES).  The engagements have been successful and has led to the launch of the Cross Sector Innovation (CSI) – Subsea Autonomous Systems: Next Generation Technologies.

The subsea CSI has facilitated close collaboration between the UK Defence sector and adjacent commercial sectors, that specifically focus on areas of mutual interest within Unmanned Autonomous Systems (UAS).  Subsequently, all parties have agreed that this subsea CSI will address specific opportunities that will deliver joint benefit to both the Defence and Offshore sectors by developing, jointly through their supply chains, a range of innovative emerging and enabling technology solutions.  As a result, £6.1m of funding has been made available by the various interlocutors to initiate a specific Innovation competition.  In summary, detailed dialogue between the major Offshore Energy companies and the Royal Navy (RN) have identified a shared appetite to deliver disruptive solutions around four distinctive enabling technology within the Subsea autonomous systems areas as follows:
 
Power & Communications 
Sensors, Detection, Navigation, Processing and Data Fusion
Deployment and Modularity
Operations 
 

COMPETITION SUMMARY

UK Research and Innovation’s (UKRI) Robots for a Safer World challenge, is working with The Royal Navy, the Oil & Gas Technology Centre, BP and the Oil & Gas Authority on a new £6 million competition for business-led projects. Successful applicants will gain a place on a 5-day collaborative workshop to develop their proposals, then submit their final innovative and commercially viable new ideas.

The competition details are as follows (Links are Active);  

Expressions of interest Opens - 13 Jan 2020, Closes 12 Feb 

Competition Briefing Event 1 -  23 January, London Hallam Conference Centre, 44 Hallam Street, London, W1W 6JJ (Note this will also be a webinar session that will be posted to Innovate UK’s website)
Competition Briefing Event 2 - 30 January, Scotland the studio...67 Hope Street, Glasgow, G2 6AE
  
5 Day Residential Collaborative Workshop – 20th to 24th April 2020

Further information will be provided through the UKDSC COI Portal/Website and shall be signposted through the RN Website, DASA Website, OGTC’s Website and Subsea UK’s as well as being available on Innovate UK’s website. 

Fee event for members:  With Britain set to leave the EU at the end of the month, you are invited to an exclusive and free workshop hosted by Make UK, the manufacturers’ organisation.
 
Preparing Manufacturers for Brexit: what’s next for import and export?
Thursday, 16 January 2020:  9.00 – 12.00

Make UK, Unit 1, Queens Park, Queensway North Team Valley Industrial Estate, Gateshead, NE11 0QD

During this event we will focus on equipping businesses with practical knowledge on likely new rules on export and import.
This workshop will help identify possible cost saving measures, and underline the different possible Brexit timelines and scenarios, and their implications for manufacturers. 
Spaces are limited therefore if you wish to attend, please reserve a seat by emailing [email protected]

OTHER NEWS

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