Category Archives: News

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.

GAD Provides Key Analysis For High Profile Government Review

Publication of the Airline Insolvency Review final report



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.

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.

Speech: Progress Towards Political, Economic And Security Reforms In Somalia

Statement by Ambassador Karen Pierce at the Security Council briefing on Somalia

UN Security Council

UN Security Council

Thank you very much, Mr President and a huge thank you to our briefers, Mr Zenega and Mr Madeira and to the Assistant Secretary-General. It’s very good to have this. It’s the first briefings we’ve had since UNSOM’s mandate was renewed.

I think the first thing to say, Mr President, is that when we had the last meeting many of us noted that 2019 would be a very important year for Somalia – and I might even go as far as to say it would set the trend of Somalia’s development for years to come. I think an important signifier of that is the new Special Representative of the Secretary-General, and we hope he can be in post soon. And we hope in turn that that becomes an opportunity to reset the UN-Somalia relationship and to find a way forward on the Panel of Experts. Restoration of cooperation with the UN and the international community is very important. I know the Somali Government has been thinking about this as well and that’s very welcome. I think the ASG’s last points show quite why this is so critical. Somalia needs the guidance and technical capability of the UN to help it with some of the detailed issues that the ASG was mentioning.

I just wanted to thank Mr Onanga for standing in and holding the fort in the interregnum between the two SRSGs. I think it’s important on an occasion like this, Mr President to say something about the bravery of AMISOM in Somalia and also the great efforts made by the African Union, which we appreciate. The UN, Somalia and international partners there need to work in tandem to deliver the transition plan. I think that in tandem, in cooperation, working coherently together is a really vital part of the prospects for success. We all want to get to a stage where Somalia leads on providing security for its people. So for the United Kingdom we really welcome efforts to build the impetus in the AMISOM mandate renewal currently ongoing. But I would just stress, Mr President, that in my experience, these things work best when troop numbers are allied to the tasks that the troops have to do and not the other way round.

As I said, 2019 is important. In fact probably the next 12 months are going to be critical to making progress on political, economic and security reforms ahead of the elections in 2020/2021. And we all know that political agreements between the Federal Government and the Federal Member States are going to be at the heart of Somalia’s stability and prosperity. I think in order to bring that about it’s very important that there’s regular and constructive dialogue between the Federal Government and the Federal Member States, particularly on the constitutional review, the electoral laws, the implementation of the security pact and the delivery of the transition plan. And I was interested to see about the prospects for the Somalia Partnership Forum which will meet this Summer.

I think the Council, Mr President would find it useful to have regular meetings and briefings so that we can help chart progress. I think it’s important that we think about how we can support all sides being able to fulfil the agreed partnership principles in that forum. And it be very good to have a sense of where the UN sees the key priorities there and how they relate to the National Development Plan.

I just wanted to say something about the humanitarian situation. We wanted to have a humanitarian brief because of the deterioration – as a result of the drought. In some ways the early warning indicators we see are worse than those we witnessed two years ago. We are about to announce additional support. We hope others might be able to do likewise. I think we all know there’s a real opportunity here to help Somalia get back on track, but it has very many components, one of which is cooperation with the UN. Obviously, the transition plan is important and in fact critical and anything AMISOM can do to support transition priorities is also very critical.

Thank you.

UK-US Disruptive Composites Projects: Apply For Funding

Organisations can apply for a share of £1.7 million to work with US partners to develop game-changing international projects in the composites sector

UK companies like Airbus and Rolls-Royce are optimistic about the future of composite materials

UK companies like Airbus and Rolls-Royce are optimistic about the future of composite materials

Composites – materials made from 2 or more different materials that, when combined, possess additional qualities such as extra strength or heat resistance – are among the most promising research and industrial developments in decades. Composites such as carbon fibre have propelled progress in the aerospace and automotive sectors, with UK companies such as Airbus and Rolls-Royce optimistic about the future of composites.

But the composites sector is still growing, often regarded as immature and, following severe historical outcomes to some UK businesses, further industry commitment is still uncertain.

Innovate UK and the US-based Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI), under UK Research and Innovation’s (UKRI) Funding for International Collaboration programme, has identified several priority areas of growth. In this competition, up to £1.7 million is available for international projects to develop disruptive technologies in the global composites market.

Stronger together

The competition will enable collaborative research and development projects between the UK and US within the composites sector that can produce a new product, industrial process or service. Projects must be disruptive, involve a technological risk and reach large international markets.

Areas projects can focus on include:

  • sheet moulding compounds reinforced with carbon fibre
  • non-destructive testing tools for automotive manufacturing
  • development of automotive grade carbon fibre-reinforced polymers
  • closing the loop on automotive carbon fibre prepreg manufacturing scrap

Projects must involve a UK business and/or UK research and technology organisation and must include a partnership with a US project team. Applicants must contact the Knowledge Transfer Network to be put in touch with a US project team.

Competition information
  • the competition opens on 29 May 2019 and the close date is at midday on 21 August 2019
  • organisations of any size may apply
  • total eligible project costs can be between £100,000 and £1 million, with a maximum grant of up to £300,000 for UK applicants
  • an online briefing event will take place on 6 June 2019
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