Defence and Security Industrial Strategy

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:49 pm on 23rd March 2021.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Jeremy Quin Jeremy Quin The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence 12:49 pm, 23rd March 2021

I thank my right hon. Friend for his question and I well remember visiting the Sierra Nevada Corporation with him last year—it was an eye opener. I hope that it is seeing opportunities from various changes to the Army, including the ranges. I am sure those there will be putting their minds to it. We will be publishing later this year a refresh of our small and medium-sized enterprises action plan. I am proud that we have driven up the amount of funds going to SMEs to more than 19%, from about 13% in 2013-14. There is more work to be done, and in order to help that process not only are we ensuring that we are maintaining DASA—the Defence and Security Accelerator—a fantastic process of providing seedcorn funding to develop smaller companies and give opportunities to help the MOD—but we will be expanding from Northern Ireland to across the whole UK the defence technology accelerator, which has been working very well in Northern Ireland. It helps to exploit and pull through technology that is being developed by smaller companies. So there will be a package of support and an SME action plan will be produced later this year.