Hampshire’s Defence and Security Cluster hears SME’s voice

Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Hampshire have taken the first steps to exploring how they can grow their business by becoming a supplier for the defence and security industry locally and nationally – by sharing what their business or service has to offer with sector industry leaders and the county’s universities

Feb 9 2024

At the first SME Voice event, held on 5 February, 12 SMEs presented their company’s capabilities to representatives from the Regional Defence and Security Cluster for the South East at the award-winning computers and systems manufacturer Captec’s UK headquarters in Fareham.

As a member of the steering group behind the event, in collaboration with Airbus, Hampshire County Council was instrumental in bringing organisations together. County Council Leader, Councillor Rob Humby said: “Hampshire is a county that is privileged to be home to many of this country’s Armed Forces, as well as many world leading companies in the field of defence and security.

"As an upper-tier local authority, we’re in a unique position to join-the-dots, enabling and influencing business and academia to meet and work together for mutual advantage and, importantly, for the benefit of Hampshire residents. I’m confident this SME Voice event will be the start of a collaboration that will serve to promote business growth, boost the local economy and contribute to social prosperity across the county.”

The aim of the event was for the Cluster to begin building a better understanding of the region’s range of businesses, expertise and skills, as well as being a useful networking opportunity for the SMEs, bigger businesses and the universities.

Mike Dewhirst, Chief Executive Officer / Chief Technical Officer of Evolve Dynamics said: "We are proud to stand with our defence and security industry colleagues across the South East region as part of this new initiative, which will foster collaboration and accelerate the delivery of innovation and technology from SMEs, such as Evolve Dynamics, towards the hands of end users. We look forward to building on our existing experience of working with DASA to support development of cutting-edge technology in aviation for application in defence and security contexts."

Max Toti, Chief Executive Officer of Captec Group, said: “We are delighted to be representing the SME community voice on the Regional Cluster Steering Group to help drive direct engagement between our fellow SMEs and the various branches of the MoD organisation to further a collective aim to champion a proactive agenda of events, driving impactful actions and expediting the pace of SME innovation pull through.”

A second SME Voice event is planned to take place in April 2024. Any business interested in making a short presentation to the Cluster representatives should contact [email protected].