Speakers from national defence and security bodies, including the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and Department for International Trade (DIT) will come to Herefordshire in February next year for its first Defence and Security Expo, showcasing expertise and innovation from across the sector.
The Expo, at the Courtyard Theatre, Hereford, on 1 February, will be the first major forum in the area for the sector, which has both historic roots in the county through the Forces (including the SAS) and growing commercial significance through the growth of businesses in the region.
The event is proudly sponsored and organised by Harrison Clark Rickerbys solicitors, Hereford Enterprise Zone at Skylon Park, and the University of Wolverhampton, all of which support the sector across the county. Harrison Clark Rickerbys (HCR) provides a full range of legal services to the sector through their Hereford-based Defence, Security and Forces division; Skylon Park is the UK’s only Enterprise Zone with a defence and security focus providing land for sector investment and business development, while the University of Wolverhampton has established a Business Solutions Centre at Skylon Court, providing a range of training, research and business support facilities to the industries.
Together, the organisers are providing a forum for the industries both to hear top-level speakers and to showcase their capabilities to a wide audience of those with an interest in their products and services, with the aim of stimulating new business and growth. The event will attract business owners and managers, procurement contractors and defence and security experts from across the Midlands.
Key industry speakers will include:
- Philip Margerison, who manages the MoD’s Defence Suppliers Service, advising and guiding companies interested in becoming MoD suppliers
- Wing Commander Philip Lamb, the DIT’s assistant director for air services in Europe, who handles trade opportunities
- Steve Brittan, chief executive of the MoD’s Defence Solutions Centre, which links international customers with UK defence and security businesses
- Dr Emma Philpott, chief executive of the IASME consortium, offering cyber security accreditation for businesses against international standards
- James Marment, MD of Exsel Dytecna Engineering, whose military background has informed his work on strategic planning, specialising in the Middle East
- Tim Williams, Qinetiq’s asset tracking specialist
- Ian Maxted, Gloucestershire Police’s Safer Cyber Co-ordinator
- Steve Thomas, founder of X-reach, cyber security specialists in Hereford.
Richard Morgan, head of HCR’s defence and security team, said: “This will be an outstanding opportunity for delegates and exhibitors to hear senior speakers from key organisations, and we are delighted to be supporting and organising the Expo with our partners. The sector is thriving in Herefordshire and we want that success to be recognised at a national level.”
Mark Pearce, Managing Director of Skylon Park, said: “With our unique defence and security sector focus, building on Hereford’s association with UK special forces, we offer ready-made and dedicated supply chain opportunities as well as land for investors looking to relocate and expand. This event will be one of the biggest gathering of defence and security sector experts in the UK, and Herefordshire is exactly the right place for it.”