All systems go for Herefordshire defence and security expo

Hi-tech communications systems, asset tracking, secure technology and supply chain opportunities are all on the agenda when defence and security organisations from across the UK gather in Hereford next month. 

Delegates at Herefordshire’s first Defence and Security Expo on February 1 at the Courtyard Theatre will also hear from expert speakers including the head of the Army in the West Midlands and key figures within the Ministry of Defence and the Department for International Trade.   

The Expo, which is being supported by England's only Enterprize Zone with a defence and security sector focus, Skylon Park, gives firms a chance both to showcase their own expertise to a wider audience and also to hear speakers of national standing in areas of interest. 

Brigadier Robin Anderton-Brown, head of the Army in the West Midlands is joining organisations including sector giant Qinetiq and international firms specialising in all types of defence and security technology, ranging from night vision goggles to the most sophisticated communications systems, at the event. 

Along with speakers Paul Winstanley from the Defence Solutions Centre and the Flt Lt Scott Toomer from the RAF, the Brigadier will speak in the event’s military section about his own considerable experience in battlefield communications as well as the on-going changes to information gathering and use within the military. 

Mark Pearce, from Skylon Park, said: “The expo is a great opportunity to showcase the expertise Herefordshire has in this specialist sector. It is also an event which will stimulate new business and growth in an industry which has increasing commercial significance. The sharing of knowledge and expertise at this level is essential to protect everyone’s future.  We're also delighted to be able to share the supply chain opportunities we have ready for investors to locate here at the Enterprise Zone on Skylon Park.” 

Brigadier Anderton-Brown, who commands 11th Signal and West Midlands Brigade which is based at Venning Barracks, near Telford, is also responsible for seven regular regiments and four reserve regiments across the region, as well as providing support to all Army units in the area. 

Along with speakers Paul Winstanley from the Defence Solutions Centre and the Flt Lt Scott Toomer from the RAF, the Brigadier will speak about his own considerable experience in battlefield communications as well as the on-going changes to information gathering and use within the military. Other sessions will focus on cyber security, communication systems, equipment procurement and how the armed forces can work with industry to the benefit of future operations. 

The event is sponsored and organised by Harrison Clark Rickerbys solicitors, Hereford Enterprise Zone at Skylon Park, and the University of Wolverhampton, all of which support the sector across the county.  

Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of Wolverhampton, Professor Ian Oakes, said: “We work very closely with businesses in Hereford providing support, advice and expertise though our Business Solutions Centre and the defence industry is a key sector in the area. 

“This event draws together partners from both the public and private sector to share knowledge and best practice. It will also create a network for defence-related businesses in Hereford to help them further grow and develop helping support the local economy.” 

Richard Morgan from Harrison Clark Rickerbys said: “We’re delighted that the event has attracted so much interest from people within the sector – businesses in Herefordshire, many of them established by former military personnel from the area, form the core of the event but it has drawn expertise from across the country, just as we hoped it would.” 

Harrison Clark Rickerbys (HCR) provides a full range of legal services to the sector through their Hereford-based Defence, Security and Forces division; Skylon Park is the UK’s only Enterprise Zone with a defence and security focus providing land for sector investment and business development, while the University of Wolverhampton has established a Business Solutions Centre at Skylon Court, providing a range of training, research and business support facilities to the industries. 

To book tickets visit www.hdse.co.uk