A £12 Billion Business Opportunity Highlighted in Belfast

Invest Northern Ireland has teamed up with the Defence Diversification Agency (DDA) to show local companies how they can bid for a slice of the £12 billion that the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) spends annually on research, technology, products and services.

Experts from the MoD’s procurement, research and technology teams helped Northern Ireland companies understand the steps they need to take to win potentially lucrative business at a seminar held in Belfast today.

Tim Brundle, DDA regional director, says: “The seminar highlighted to companies just what’s involved in bidding for MoD contracts, ranging from provision of innovative technology and products to a wide variety of services to meet its vast and ever-changing requirements.

“Over 32,000 UK companies, many of them small to medium sized enterprises, currently provide goods and services that are purchased annually by 1,800 MoD buyers.

“The opportunities are certainly very substantial, as is the competition. It’s an open process in which the buyers are seeking quality and value for money. To reach the buyers, companies have to know the requirements and master defined, but fairly straightforward bidding procedures.”

Tracy Meharg, Invest NI’s managing director of Innovation and Capability Development, commenting on the initiative, says: “Our objective in helping to organise this event with DDA is to encourage and assist local companies,especially smaller firms, to find out about MoD requirements and to bid for new business.

“Our Passport to Export programme offers very practical training and support to strengthen their marketing capability and overall competitiveness,” she adds.

The seminar featured presentations from MoD procurement units and from companies currently doing business with different parts of the organisation.

Companies heard:

  • How procurement works within the MoD

  • ·Which agencies are involved

  • ·How to sell to the MoD

  • ·How defence exporting works

  • ·How defence technology can enhance your business

  • ·How to get further advice and assistance

  • ·The practical processes involved, from an SME which has succeeded in selling to the MoD.

This seminar was sponsored by Invest NI, and was the latest in a series of similar events run by the DDA throughout the UK.