The importance of small and medium sized enterprises to the UK defence industry and the Armed Forces was highlighted when defence minister Phillip Dunne visited Lincolnshire-based Inzpire.
The company provides consultancy and training services, as well as develops software applications for military customers. In the last 18 months, it has doubled in size and now employs 90 people, the vast majority of which are ex-military personnel from a variety of backgrounds including front-line operations, tactics and future capability development.
Harnessing that knowledge has helped the company in becoming a key MOD supplier, with every UK military pilot now receiving Inzpire training in the synthetic training environment. The company is also supporting the military community by signing the Armed Forces Covenant.
During the visit to the company’s Lincolnshire office, the minister met Inzpire’s chief executive, Hugh Griffiths, as well as a number of the company’s directors.
Dunne was also introduced to the company’s workforce, as well as the Mission Systems Group, which develops and produces the aviation navigational aids. The visit follows a meeting last week of the Defence Suppliers Forum, chaired by Dunne, which brought together senior MOD officials with small business leaders to discuss crucial issues to SMEs.
“I am really pleased to have had the opportunity to visit Inzpire and meet the creative minds behind this growing aviation and defence company. It is very encouraging to see SMEs contributing so much to the UK’s Defence industry – there is no doubt that harnessing their innovation as part of the defence supply chain is a key to the Armed Forces remaining at the forefront of technology,” said Philip Dunne, minister of state for defence procurement.
“It is also excellent that so many veterans are working with Inzpire, bringing to bear all their skills and expertise from their military careers and using that to benefit our Armed Forces.”
Inzpire’s chief executive, Hugh Griffiths added: “We were absolutely delighted that minister Dunne visited Inzpire today. It means a great deal to an SME to have support from the very top and, in this visit, we got it. We are very grateful because Inzpire is actively supporting the UK’s world-class military as part of the new Whole Force Approach, and Philip Dunne’s interest in us is, therefore, both gratifying and very welcome.
“As a company of 80% former military personnel, that is growing, successful, exporting, paying taxes, and employing local people, we are very appreciative of the pro-business stance of our local MP Karl McCartney, of Philip Dunne and of the wider Government. This directly helps businesses like us succeed for the UK in a tough global marketplace.”