The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) confirmed that it is on course to meet its 2020 SME spending target at their biggest ever supply chain event at Manchester’s EventCity.
In his opening address to almost 2,000 delegates and 300 organisations last week, NDA Chief Executive David Peattie confirmed, “We’re on track to deliver the government’s 2020 target of 31 percent spend with SME suppliers”, having already achieved the current spend target of 25 per cent.
With an annual supply chain spend of £1.7billion, the increase will have a big positive impact on SMEs. Peattie went on to say that they were open to working with people that haven’t previously worked in the nuclear industry because the NDA wanted to ensure that spend also helped develop a “healthy, vibrant supply chain.”
“We’re open to taking different approaches and we should embrace this, otherwise we will end up with the same outcomes,” he said.
In his keynote speech, Rear Admiral Keith Beckett from the Ministry of Defence’s nuclear submarine programme added that there were over 200 companies in the UK currently engaged in the HMS Dreadnought programme.
“This is one of the most capable attack submarines in the world and we must draw on the manufacturing and technical expertise from every part of our supply chain and SMEs have a key role here,” he said.
Elizabeth Vega, Global CEO of Informed Solutions, attended the event as a member of UK Cabinet Office’s SME Advisory Panel. Following David Peattie’s presentation, Elizabeth said, “Both as an SME Panel member and as CEO of Informed Solutions, a digital and big data solutions supplier within the nuclear sector, it was very pleasing to hear the facts around the NDA’s SME spend and receive assurances from David Peattie about stepping up the commitment to SMEs. The innovative and dynamic ecosystem around the NDA and the UK nuclear industry is clearly putting SMEs at the heart of its activities.”
“This is an incredibly well-run and engaging industry event and it’s wonderful to see so many innovative and aspirational SMEs here,” she added. “The NDA have made great strides in recent years in making opportunities for SMEs more visible – and this will allow many more businesses to play a vital role in this mission and safety critical industry.”
The NDA supply chain event is now the biggest of its kind in Europe. This was the seventh annual event and it provided an even larger Innovation Zone than in previous years, allowing more companies to showcase innovative products. A larger Skills Zone also helped demonstrate the world class skills and expertise that the UK nuclear industry has built up in recent years.
Informed Solutions Global CEO Elizabeth Vega (left) with Rear Admiral Keith Beckett