On Wednesday 1st May 2013 a Tripartite Cooperation Agreement was signed between MBDA UK Limited, Cranfield University (Shrivenham) and Hindustan University (HU) (Chennai, India). The Agreement promotes a closer working relationship with similar goals between the parties, specifically: the design, development and delivery of Missile Systems Design & Capability (MSDC) courses and post-graduate education, as part of a wider Defence Education in India initiative. In addition, this Agreement will give MBDA a high profile in India, particularly to major stakeholders within the Indian MoD (e.g. DRDO, DPSU and OFB), Military Services, aerospace industries and academia.
This Agreement has taken several months to finalise and how best to deliver each organisation’s aspirations. For MBDA, we shall be better placed to fulfil our Direct Offsets (Technical Training) commitments against the export contracts within India.
Paul Williamson, Head of Industrial Negotiations for MBDA, has been a key player in formulating the Agreement over the past few months: “This is a unique cooperation for MBDA, whose normal business is the sale of its products and technologies rather than its expertise. We are indebted to the personal contribution of staff at Cranfield (Shrivenham) and Hindustan University in making this happen: time zones, heavy schedules and workloads and cultural differences all combined to make this a challenging but not impossible task. MBDA looks forward to working with Cranfield, HU and the Indian authorities to deliver what the cooperation promises.”
The overall design and delivery of the MSDC suite of courses, is the responsibility of MBDA HR Learning & Development group. Several challenges will be faced by MBDA staff involved in these initiatives, beyond cultural differences, language and learning style, over the next few years. However, Laurent Camus makes the following poignant observation: “This Agreement is vital for MBDA as a ‘Global Player’ in the Complex Weapons sector and initiates a strategic axis which will see the development of an ‘MBDA Education Business’. This approach will place MBDA in a unique position to better facilitate the technical educational needs of the customer and secure our future export contracts”.
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