Concern across the UK naval defence community about the lack of focus on the sustainability and development of the UK’s naval design and engineering intellectual and knowledge base has led to the launch of the UK Naval Engineering Science and Technology Forum (UK NEST). UK NEST will perform its role by providing a professionally-based forum for addressing issues of common concern, fostering specific professional development needs, and giving a focal point for interaction with, and influencing the wider Government and industrial community.
The initial UK NEST agenda includes a focus on training and development needs; provision of an interface to the UK Maritime Industry Strategy; examining the issues relating to pull-through of science and technology into defence procurement projects; and tackling the standardisation of language used to describe design phases and design maturity definition. The inaugural Steering Group meeting of UK NEST was held in October 2005 and is comprised of representatives from some of the leading organisations in the Naval design and engineering industry The formation of the Forum was publicised at the SMI’s UK Maritime and Naval Construction Conference in Glasgow in November. The Forum is now in the process of selecting an independent Chair for the Steering Group. The Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology (IMarEST) is providing the secretariat.