One of the joys of working here is the sheer diversity of engagement on behalf of our members, whether around the very active briefing programme or in the growing number of projects and BD programmes we carry out. Throughout what could read like a pretty scattered agenda there runs a clear and consistent thread; strong focus across the membership on the opportunities of a post-Brexit Britain, as underlined by our activities this week and next.
*Phil Dowrick has been in South Africa and Angola this week - honing the output of our year-long FCO Prosperity funded programme that we conceived to create an increased Urban Planning capability across Angola.
*Follow-up interest from last week's Global Opportunities-Healthcare 2017 presence at Arab Health has been very strong, underlining the extensive global opportunities open to the U.K. if it can truly make the most of its admired Health sector offerings, across all aspects of care, provision and medtech.
*D Group welcomed the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Sir Steve Hillier, for a fascinating discussion about what the RAF needed from industry in a world with a very dynamic set of security challenges facing the U.K. It was an impressive and accomplished performance and the RAF is clearly in very good hands as it approaches its 100th birthday. We look forward to helping the 2018 celebrations.
*We are planning for the next meeting of the design group for DiT's Infrastructure Exports Leadership Forum (IELF). This is a DiT initiative to maximise liaison between it and the UK infrastructure services sector. It was specifically referenced in HMG's recent Green Paper on industrial strategy. We are delighted to have been asked to bring our own private sector Infrastructure Services Working Group, whose membership represents over £60bn of annual sector revenues, to help DiT develop a pro-active and commercially attuned engagement.
Helping the UK infrastructure services sector identify and win business is a BEI core speciality and where, as a nation, we have acknowledged world-leading companies and skills, from major PLCs to SMEs, across transport, energy, education and health; from brilliant design and architecture skills and technology in 'Smart Cities' through to the financing, delivery and management of complex projects and world-leading infrastructure facilities operation and management skills.
Briefings next week also continue the theme. Cardiff University's VC, Colin Riordan looks to how the UK's world-leading higher education sector can best address the post referendum funding, recruitment and research challenges. Cardiff is a top Russell Group university, a lynchpin of the S Wales economy and sits at the top level of University research ranking. And on the continuing theme of the UK's international engagement we also hear on Tuesday about the globally-facing security and stability fund.
A very good week ahead to you all.
Peter O'Kane - Chairman, Strategy International