By Daniel Hunter

Northamptonshire’s High Performance Technologies (HPT) companies are being encouraged to maximise opportunities in the defence sector at an event on 15th October 2013.

Hosted by Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership (NEP) at Cosworth in Northampton, the event will inform local engineering companies of the opportunities within the defence industry and how to access them using similar expertise gained through work in sectors such as motorsport, automotive, aerospace and low carbon technologies.

Speakers at the event will include Tim Wheeler from Boeing Defence Space & Security and Phillip Margerison, Head of the Suppliers Service at the Ministry of Defence who will offer advice and tips on becoming involved in the defence sector supply chain. There will also be case studies from companies who have successfully diversified into the defence market including Cosworth, NAR Group and Diamond Hard Surfaces.

Julia Schumacher, HPT lead at NEP said: “Northamptonshire is renowned for its world leading expertise in engineering, and the thriving local HPT sector is well documented. What is perhaps less well-known is how transferable many of these skills and technologies are across various sectors.

“For example cooling systems developed by NAR Group for the performance automotive and motorsport industry can also be applied to other specialist markets such as defence, saving considerable R&D time and enabling products to reach new markets quickly. Encouraging local firms to consider new markets is a key element of our work at NEP and helps to support the continued growth of the HPT industry, whilst at the same time boosting the economy locally.”

In the UK, the defence industry represents 10% of UK high technology manufacturing, employing over 300,000 people and contributing over £35 billion per year to the economy. There are over 1,000 companies in Northamptonshire’s HPT network.

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