Category Archives: UK

Vehicle Checkpoint Screening Conference To Take Place At Aerospace Bristol

Innovative solutions that could transform the way vehicles are screened at airports will be unveiled at this unique event

FASS Airside Vehicles

FASS Airside Vehicles

Seven projects that are looking at new ways to prevent explosives, weapons and other threats hidden in vehicles from accessing the airside of an airport will be revealed for the first time on Thursday 13 June 2019.

The developers behind the low and mid-level Technology Readiness Level (TRL) proposals will present their novel concepts to experts from industry, academia and government against the backdrop of one of the finest examples of British innovation – Concorde.

Taking place at Aerospace Bristol in the heart of the South West’s aerospace industry, the Vehicle Checkpoint (VCP) Screening Conference concludes the first phase of the VCP competition that was announced by the Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) in June 2018.

To mark the occasion, all seven of the proposals that each received a share of the £1 million funding pot provided by the Future Aviation Security Solutions (FASS) programme will offer an exclusive look at the progress they have made since they were successfully awarded contracts in January 2019.

In addition to learning more about the science and technology behind some of the new screening techniques being developed, attendees will be given the opportunity to understand how existing technologies are being adapted to work within the VCP setting.

They will also be invited to engage in question and answer sessions with the individuals behind these novel ideas to help shape the future of airport vehicle security screening. Attendees will also have the chance to network and hear from representatives working in the aviation and security fields in an exclusive panel discussion.

This Vehicle Checkpoint Screening conference is free-to-attend. Please register your interest on our Eventbrite page where additional information is available.

RT Hon Dr Liam Fox MP Champions UK Digital Economy At Paris Meeting

The Secretary of State for International Trade, Rt Hon Dr Liam Fox MP, attended the OECD annual conference today in Paris to promote Britain’s digital economy in a global marketplace

Flight Paths

Flight Paths

Speaking at the international meeting alongside ministers from across the world, he spoke about the potential power of digital technologies to grow and transform our economies and to create accessibility to trade and commerce to groups currently unrepresented, such as women and people living in emerging economies.

The annual meeting saw ministers and officials from 36 member states come together, along with key partner and accession countries to discuss the theme of ‘harnessing digital transition for sustainable development: opportunities and challenges’.

Dr Fox, representing the UK, spoke of the importance of innovation and competition in modernising economies, and of recognising the value in world-leading digital hubs such as the UK, where last year artificial intelligence firms raised $1.3 billion, almost as much as the whole of the rest of Europe put together.

He also spoke of the necessity of strengthening the international, rules-based, multi-lateral trading system. And identified 3 priorities:

  • Connectivity and access to technology; improving access to the digital marketplace for unrepresented groups and small businesses by aligning trade and development policies.
  • The flow of data; across borders, in the way goods and services move as opposed to the localisation of data storage which can stifle connectivity and growth.
  • Regulation; necessary regulation for trade and consumer protection must protect people and businesses online and offline, however, restrictions must not be used to stifle competition.

The Secretary of State for International Trade also spoke of the need to protect intellectual property, of the importance of transparency between governments and online companies and the need to end the giving of illegal subsidies and disruptions to data flows, all of which can hinder growth and innovation.

Dr Fox also attended 2 bi-lateral meetings; one with Director General of the World Trade Organisation, Roberto Azevedo and one with Japanese Trade Minister, Mr Hiroshige Seko and his delegation.

RT Hon Dr Liam Fox MP, Secretary of State for International Trade said:

We need to have greater openness to world leading digital hubs and recognise they are an opportunity, not a threat.

We’re lucky in the United Kingdom, our start- up tech sector is attracting record levels of investment, last year our artificial intelligence firms raised 1.3 billion dollars. Almost as much as the rest of Europe put together.

Realising the potential of World-leading digital hubs like the UK and others is vital and reforming the rules-based trading system is essential in reflecting the developing needs of digital trade.

Notes to Editors
  1. The Department for International Trade (DIT) secures UK and global prosperity by promoting and financing international trade and investment and championing free trade. We are an international economic department, responsible for:
  • Bringing together policy, promotion and financial expertise to break down barriers to trade and investment, and help businesses succeed
  • Delivering a new trade policy framework for the UK as we leave the EU
  • Promoting British trade and investment across the world
  • Building the global appetite for British goods and services
  1. Latest statistics from the ONS show UK firms sold more overseas in the 2018/19 financial year, £639.9 billion, than at any time since records began
  2. The UK has now achieved 36 consecutive months of export growth on an annual rolling basis
  3. Separate OECD data shows UK exports grew faster than Germany, France and Italy between 2016 and 2018
  4. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development is an intergovernmental economic organisation with 36 member countries, founded in 1961 to stimulate economic progress and world trade. OECD is an official United Nations observer.

GAD Provides Key Analysis For High Profile Government Review

Publication of the Airline Insolvency Review final report

Airport

Airport

The new Airline Insolvency Review: final report has been published, providing recommendations on how to protect consumers in the event of an airline or travel company failure. Experts in the Government Actuary’s Department (GAD) supplied advice and analysis to the review team, including the complex task of calculating the cost of protection which the report recommends charging to airlines.

The review draws on lessons from the collapse of Monarch Airlines in October 2017. This was when 85,000 passengers were repatriated – in the UK’s largest peacetime repatriation operation – by the Civil Aviation Authority.

Repatriation Costs

GAD played an integral part in the preparation of the report by analysing the cost implications of financial options. Actuaries and analysts examined the likely losses that occur when airlines become insolvent and assessed the cost of the different financial options. Analysis from GAD estimated repatriation costs and looked at the cost of setting up a system which would pay for passenger protection.

The report’s key recommendations include:

  • proposals for a new Flight Protection Scheme amounting to less than 50 pence per person, which would protect passengers if an airline became insolvent while they were abroad
  • reforms to the UK’s airline insolvency regimes so an airline’s own aircraft can be used to repatriate its passengers should it fail
  • plans to improve awareness, and the take up, of safeguards which protect customers with future bookings, should airlines collapse
Key Partners

As one of the authors of GAD’s Airline Insolvency Review – Risk Analysis Phase 2 report, Chris Paterson, commented: “The analysis carried out by our team is an integral part of a suite of publications and data produced for the review.

“We provided estimates of the cost of protecting passengers in the case of an airline insolvency, which were used in the report’s recommendations.”

GAD’s full report is Annex D of the supporting evidence research reports.

Investigation Into London Capital & Finance Launched

An investigation into the circumstances surrounding the collapse of the investment firm and the Financial Conduct Authority’s supervision of the firm

HM Treasury

HM Treasury

  • Dame Elizabeth Gloster will lead the investigation into LCF and how the FCA exercised its powers in relation to it
  • The findings will be reported to HM Treasury
  • HM Treasury will also review the regulation and marketing of the kinds of retail investment products issued by LCF

An independent investigation into the circumstances surrounding the collapse of investment firm London Capital & Finance (LCF) and the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA’s) supervision of the firm has been formally launched today (Thursday 23 May).

The Economic Secretary to the Treasury, John Glen, has approved the FCA’s appointment of Dame Elizabeth Gloster to lead the investigation and has laid before Parliament the direction to initiate this work. Mr Glen has also announced that the Treasury will begin a wider policy review in response to the case, including a review of the regulatory regime for ‘mini-bonds’ and other non-transferrable securities.

The Economic Secretary, John Glen, said:

We urgently need to get to the bottom of the circumstances around the collapse of LCF.

Dame Elizabeth will bring her vast experience and rigour to this important investigation, which will help ensure this type of thing doesn’t happen again.

The Treasury will also be looking at how the current regime for these investments works, so customers are properly protected and the UK’s financial system can continue to be one of the safest in the world.

Dame Elizabeth has had a distinguished career as a barrister and as a judge on the High Court and the Court of Appeal. As well as her current work as an international arbitrator, she has deep experience in commercial law and will bring expertise in financial services, insolvencies and regulation to the role. She will look at how the FCA exercised its powers and whether it fulfilled its statutory objectives with respect to LCF. The FCA will report the findings of the investigation to the Economic Secretary, as well as the lessons it will take from those findings.

Further Information

In April the Economic Secretary wrote to the FCA to set out that he would order an investigation into the failure of LCF, using Treasury powers under section 77 of the Financial Services Act 2012. Section 77 gives the government wide ranging powers to direct an investigation.

The move follows a meeting of the FCA board earlier this year where they agreed that a statutory investigation was in the public interest and requested the Treasury direct the FCA to carry out an investigation.

The Treasury will commission research into the wider market for ‘mini bonds’ and other non-transferable securities, and their role in the economy. The Treasury will also consider the regulatory arrangements currently in place for the issuance of these investments, including the Financial Promotions regime which governs the marketing of those products.

The Treasury will work with Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs to review the tax rules for the Innovative Finance Individual Savings Accounts (IF ISAs) and the relationship of these rules to the financial services regulators.

DASA Security Showcase

The Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) will be hosting a Security Showcase event in central London on 26 June 2019

Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA)

Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA)

This is the first DASA security focused event which will bring together the security innovation community, showcasing a number of innovations applicable to the security sector from suppliers who have already received funding through DASA competitions.

There will be briefings from across Government and front line services, with suppliers having the chance to see the range of services available through DASA which helps innovative concepts to reach the marketplace.

There will also be a networking opportunity for innovators from industry, academia, Government and front line service end users.

If you are interested in attending this event, please register on our Eventbrite Page by 6pm, 12 June 2019.

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