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Collaboration is crucial to our future success

History shows us that during times of adversity it is innovation and ingenuity that provide the seeds to recovery. It is clear that our world faces many challenges. For us to combat issues such as global warming, terrorism and diminishing energy resources, industry and academia needs to work more effectively together. We need to develop stronger partnerships to help skill and train our future engineers and scientists in order to resolve the issues that challenge the very quality of our lives and future security. The economic success and competitiveness of the UK depends very much on us generating a strong and vibrant engineering sector.

At BAE Systems our people help develop and deliver some of the most complex engineering and manufacturing projects in the world. With over half of our workforce in engineering disciplines, we are the biggest employer of engineers in the UK and home to some of the brightest minds in the industry globally. Our innovative employee base has enabled us to become a world-leader in areas such as analytics, software, manufacturing, product safety and nuclear engineering. The skills of our people generate a technology powerhouse for the UK and we play a leading role in maintaining and developing the UK’s skill base and competitiveness.

The current shortage of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) skills in the engineering sector is an issue we have to address. For BAE Systems to protect its future and remain competitive we must ensure we have a talent pipeline of people with STEM skills. Through industry initiatives like BAE Systems’ Skills 2020 programme, we will invest in developing talented individuals as well as establishing collaborative networks between universities and small and medium enterprises to enhance and share capabilities across science, technology and engineering. If advanced and high tech manufacturing is to be at the core of economic recovery, it is vital that we recruit and retain people with the right skills, intelligence and commitment to drive innovation forward.

Collaboration is absolutely crucial to our success. Whether it’s between technology-led companies and universities, or between businesses with distinct areas of expertise, it is collaboration that provides the fuel to spark innovation. This is why BAE Systems is delighted to be sponsoring the Engineer Technology & Innovation Awards for the fourth year. This year’s awards really focus the spotlight on collaboration and the collaborative process. The finalists represent a broad swathe of the engineering sector and each nominated project demonstrates a commitment to collaboration wherever it occurs: whether between business and academia, or between separate businesses, or, indeed, groups of Universities.

To be successful in overcoming the many challenges that face us in the world today, industry needs to embark on a more collaborative approach to skills development and capability sharing. World-changing technologies are only made possible through such strategic partnerships and collaboration.

We are delighted that this year’s Engineer Technology & Innovation Awards 2010 recognise and celebrate this process. If we are to raise the profile of engineering and manufacturing it is important that we honour achievements of our young minds publicly to inspire the next generation of engineers and scientists. For us to safeguard our future and the future of our next generations we must encourage more young people to consider careers in science and engineering; working in markets that demand the world’s most advanced technologies, including defence, aerospace, national security and healthcare.

Therefore, along with my fellow judges, I would like to congratulate everyone that took part in the 2010 event. You should all be very proud of your achievements and innovation.

Simon Jewell 

Managing Director

Strategic Capability Solutions

BAE Systems 

Readers' comments (1)

  • I was very interested to read Simon Jewell's remarks concerning skills and training. I would also like to draw your attention to the programmes of the European Nuclear Energy Leadership Academy (, whose activities are aimed at those working in and with the nuclear energy industry.

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