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Defence Procurement Minister launches new Defence SME action plan from 4GD METAlab

Close combat technology specialists, 4GD, and their close allies, D3A and 2iC, welcomed the Minister for Defence Procurement, Jeremy Quin, at 4GD's research facility in Berkshire to launch the new Defence Small and Medium-Sized Enterprise Action Plan.

From left to right - D3A CEO Craig Haslam, 4GD Founder Rob Taylor, 4GD CFO Matthew Harrison, MinDP Jeremy Quin and 2iC Director Richard Keyse

The new Action Plan sets out the department’s priorities and aims to maximise opportunities for SMEs to do business with the Ministry of Defence by increasing access to information, lowering barriers to market entry and fostering better collaboration.

The Plan lists a number of measures that would allow companies to bid for more work and improve procurement speed. This includes policies for opening supply chains further, supporting acquisition teams with early market engagement and raising commercial assurance processes. It also includes policies that set social value criteria and environmental standards.

The Minister for Defence Procurement, Jeremy Quin, said: “SMEs deliver vital skills to defence, helping keep our Armed Forces safe and improve our battle winning capabilities. Our new SME Actions Plan will increase engagement with the SME sector, and reduce barriers to better utilise the expertise and innovation these organisations offer.”

The veteran-run SMEs work closely with the British Army to drive performance improvements via accessible, ultra-realistic urban warfare training.

Matthew “Skippy” Harrison (Left) holding AirSoft M4, SimStriker smart targetry (Middle) and MinDP Jeremy Quin (Right)

4GD’s SmartFacility, in service with the Army’s 16 Air Assault Brigade, offers a range of special effects and monitoring features and can be upgraded to also include data capture and analysis, smart-targets and a synthetic environment that creates a life-like world of digital assets for soldiers to interact with.

The facility’s synthetic combined arms training capabilities are delivered by training experts, D3A, who introduce operational hardware interfaces that interconnect with digital assets, with actions taken in the virtual domain having an effect in the real world, and vice versa.

Rob Taylor, Founder of 4GD, said: “We were honoured to welcome the Minister for Defence Procurement, Jeremy Quin, to our METAlab research facility, where our technologies are developed by veteran soldiers for serving personnel. The government continues to demonstrate its commitment to innovation in defence and is building a collaborative environment to enable specialist SMEs like 4GD to thrive.”

2iC is a leader in digital interoperability that provides information sharing software, linking together comms systems and enabling two-way communications in environments with low-power computing. The company played an instrumental role in the development of the SME Action Plan.

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