Fireside chats may have been coined in the 1930s, but they remain an effective way for imparting expert knowledge in an informal way.
Over the last year we have held very successful fireside chats in unique locations such as London’s Army & Navy Club. Securing high profile personnel in the defence realm has ensured a very informative evening for our members.
Previous events have included:
- Air Vice Marshal Rochelle, who spoke about the RAF’s approach to capability acquisition
- Major General Chris Tickell, who updated members on present and future Army/Land capability and Whole Force
- Colonel Dan Cheesman, who talked about Nelson, Nemesis, Selborne and NavyX and how in particular industry can assist in its initialisation.
The format includes time for a Q&A session, drinks and networking.
As we launch further Fireside Chats over the coming months we talk to Simon Levy, Head of UK Defence Business Development on what makes them so unique and what members can expect from these events. Here’s what he had to say.
Q1: What makes Fireside Chats different to our other events?
Our Fireside Chats differ in that they offer industry an occasion to access the Front Line Commands and Government. As part of our business development support, members have opportunities to engage with industry and in particular the Primes such as through our Meet the Primes events, however it is equally important to connect with another customer and these events facilitate this.
Q2: What do people get out of it?
This is a great way for members to hear about the current and future capabilities our armed forces are looking for, but it also offers an opportunity for industry to share details about their capabilities and to highlight opportunities that Front Line Commands may not be aware of. The military is constantly looking at innovation and industry need to understand the problems whilst the military need to understand what industry can do to support them.
Q3: Who normally attends these events?
We get a good cross section of our members attending from the Primes right the way through the supply chain of SMEs. Due to the nature of the event, the opportunity to engage is for all.
Q4: What’s planned for the future & what can members expect to learn?
We have three events already in the calendar.
Coming up on 17 July we have Brigadier Kevin Copsey, who will focus on this emerging new Army Operating Concept, the underpinning utility of Prototype Warfare and where we need support and engagement with industry.
On 28 August, Gary Aitkenhead, CEO, Dstl and his colleague Dr Steve Rooks, Head of Strategy will discuss investment, focusing on how companies may engage further with the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory.
In the pipeline on 8 October we have Air Cdre Linc Taylor, Head of the RAF Rapid Capability Office. Details on this are still being finalised but will cover not only existing platforms but also an update on Tempest.