More than a thousand delegates and 100 exhibitors from the defence and security sector flocked to the Three Counties Showground last week for The Three Counties Defence & Security Expo 2018 (3CDSE), proving that demand for a regional defence and security expo is high.
Numbers of attendees and exhibitors at 3CDSE more than doubled this year, according to the organisers, and the event also attracted visitors nationwide and internationally.
The Expo, which is in its second year, moved from its original venue in Hereford to the showground to accommodate the increased number of exhibitors who this year displayed a range of innovative products and ideas, from wearable tech to drones.
Richard Morgan of Harrison Clark Rickerbys, head of the firm’s Defence, Security and the Forces team, who instigated the event, said: “It has been an honour to fulfil our Military Corporate Covenant by leading this event for the armed services and police, and the industries that support them.
“With significant offices in Worcestershire, Gloucestershire and Herefordshire and numerous personnel with military backgrounds and connections, as a firm we are at the very heart of the UK’s defence and security innovation capability and grateful for the opportunity to give something back to those who protect our national security.”
3CDSE was run in partnership with the Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce, Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership, Worcestershire Business Central, Hereford Enterprise Zone/Skylon Park, and Gloucestershire Local Enterprise Partnership (GLEP) – key national partners were The Manufacturers’ Organisation (EEF) and its dedicated defence sub-group, National Defence Industries (NDI). West Midland Reserve Forces & Cadets Association also partnered with Harrison Clark Rickerbys to support the event.
The event showcased innovation – one such was Warwickshire-based Intrepid Minds, who showcased their manta ray-shaped underwater drone, which provides covert monitoring for up to six months at a time. Smith Myers displayed the flight-certified Artemis Search and Rescue Location system, recently voted best Aviation Product by British Engineering Excellence Awards. They also showcased a smaller version suitable for drone platforms. Other products illustrating Smith Myers’ expertise of cellular protocol applications were on display. These represented just some of a wide range of innovative ideas on show.
Innovative technology-enhanced learning solutions were also on show: CDS Defence Support showcased apps developed for the British Army which create virtual environments to reinforce lessons that are learnt on the live firing range, as well as Augmented Reality software that allows the user to greatly enhance their working environment.
The University of Wolverhampton (UoW) presented its innovation programmes for businesses and its drones training programme. The Expo also provided exclusives, as UoW announced the launch of its Cyber Security Research Centre.
The promotion of the Armed Forces Covenant was also a theme at 3CDSE 2018, with exhibitors encouraged to display their Employer’s Covenant Award certificates. Visitors also benefited from the presence of 3 units 37 Signal Regiment, 214 Battery Royal Artillery and 1 Signal Regiment as well as representatives from the West Midlands Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Association.
Technology was a core theme throughout the 40-strong speaker programme which presented expert speakers from the fields of military, law enforcement and the defence and security industry, including Richard Newbould of Vodafone who spoke about the Internet of Things, and Mivy James of BAE Systems Applied Intelligence who presented a compelling story about data privacy, artificial intelligence and consumer wearable tech.
Utilising knowledge from the racetrack, Stuart Olden, Business Development Manager, showed how Williams F1 Advanced Engineering applied innovative techniques developed to advance F1 racing to the future requirements of the defence industry.