29 - 30 November 2017 Grand Hall, Olympia, London

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The Prime & SME Engagement Programme is a unique programme running alongside UK Security Expo.

Its objective is to bring SMEs with relevant solutions together with Prime Contractors, who are looking for innovative ways to solve customer problems

Each Prime will do an introduction in a private area at the show with ample time provided for face-to-face meetings and networking.



  • Welcome
  • Introduction from each Prime Contractor
  • SME / Prime Networking and 121 Meetings
  • Talks on Government, Academic and Specialist Funding models
  • Questions and Answer session
How it works

How it works

We brief each SME on the Prime’s attending to help prepare them in advance. The SMEs can use the time to discuss their solutions with the Primes and find out more about their requirements and supplier selection process.

N.B. there is no cost to SMEs to be included however they must be  exhibiting at the show.

Talks on Government, Academic and Specialist Funding models will include:

The Innovative Research Call (IRC)

The Innovative Research Call (IRC)

govimgThe Innovative Research Call (IRC) for Explosives and Weapons Detection funded £3 million of innovative research projects to meet requirements for improved security and counter-terrorism.

This initiative was jointly funded by both UK Government and the United States of America Department for Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate. Projects were awarded funding to support the development of supplier’s original ideas or adaptations of existing approaches from other sectors. Each project met the challenge of detecting explosives and weapons in one or more of the following scenarios: buildings and areas; goods; people and/or their possessions; and vehicles.

The IRC 2013 call has now concluded with a number of successful prototypes developed. Suppliers are attending the UK Security Expo 2017 to showcase their outputs in addition to promoting opportunities for product development and exploitation. The most recent IRC 2016 suppliers will also present their work to date, providing a flavour of innovations to come.

EU H2020 SME Instrument and Fast-Track to Innovation Programmes

EU H2020 SME Instrument and Fast-Track to Innovation Programmes

SME Instrument: Close-to-market and scale-up projects of a single SME or a consortium of SMEs established in EU Member States or Horizon 2020 associated countries.

Fast Track to Innovation (FTI): Close-to-market projects of consortia with three to five entities from at least three different EU Member States or Horizon 2020 associated countries. Industry must participate. Interdisciplinary approaches encouraged.

EU Agency “EASME”

The EASME (Executive Agency for SMEs) has been set-up by the European Commission to manage on its behalf several EU programmes.
We provide high quality support to our beneficiaries, turning EU policy into action and we manage significant parts of COSME, LIFE, Horizon 2020 and EMFF. We ensure that actions funded by these programmes deliver results and provide the Commission with valuable input for its policy tasks.
The SME unit manages the H2020 SME Instrument, a 3-bn-euro programme supporting SMEs with the ambition and potential to engage in innovation-driven growth on the European and global market.

Catherine POURET is a Project Officer at EASME (Executive Agency for SMEs which has been set-up by the European Commission to manage on its behalf several EU programmes). She has worked for the EU for 13 +years and has been responsible in providing support and advice to innovative SMEs in Europe and their navigation through the different EU research and innovation programmes.  Since May 2014, she has worked within the SME Instrument unit of EASME, where she is responsible for the topic "Engaging SMEs in security research and development". She is also responsible for managing the ethics issues and the Fast-Track to Innovation programme.

Defence and Security Accelerator

Defence and Security Accelerator

The Defence and Security Accelerator focuses on innovations which can provide advantage to defence and national security to protect the UK from its adversaries.

It will fund the development of suppliers’ innovative ideas and provide support through to potential application. The Accelerator will also fund innovations for defence and security which support economic growth and prosperity in the UK.

Stakeholders will be encouraged to experiment and collaborate and help overcome barriers to exploitation.

We are responsible for:

  • funding proof-of-concept research that offers a high potential benefit to defence and security
  • opening up defence and security challenges to the widest possible audience of providers, including those new to defence and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)
  • helping to take Accelerator-funded projects towards market


Our priorities are to:

  • extend our reach to anyone with innovative ideas
  • hold regular themed competitions to address specific defence and security challenges
  • promote the monthly Accelerator Open Call for Innovation to more broadly capture potential innovations that address the most important problems in defence
  • improve routes to commercialisation, following initial Accelerator proof-of-concept funding

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