Ministry of Defence
Accelerating Defence Innovation
Minister for Defence Procurement Harriett Baldwin challenges academics and businesses to keep the UK at the cutting-edge through innovation.
Minister Harriett Baldwin yesterday challenged academics and businesses to help the UK save lives, money and win battles in the information age in the latest development of the MOD’s Innovation Initiative.
The Minister launched the Defence and Security Accelerator in front of 300 delegates at the inaugural Maritime Enterprise Innovation Scotland Conference (MEISC) at the University of Strathclyde.
Minister for Defence Procurement Harriett Baldwin said:
The Defence Innovation Initiative and £800M Defence Innovation Fund aim to encourage imagination, ingenuity and entrepreneurship, in pursuit of maintaining a military advantage in the future.
This Innovation Challenge calls for innovators to develop new technologies to improve the UK’s ability to analyse and exploit data in order to inform decision-making.
With a rising Defence budget, and a £178 billion equipment plan, our commitment to collaboration will deliver a safer and more prosperous Britain.
This £3m Accelerator competition, backed by the MOD’s £800 million innovation fund, is looking for new technologies, processes and ways of working to improve the way we analyse and exploit data in order to inform decision-making. For example, it is hoped innovative use and development the use of sensors and artificial intelligence we will give our commanders better situational awareness of the battlefield, so they can act faster and more effectively than our adversaries. Projects are expected to last up to six months, and initial results need to be delivered to Defence by November 2017.
The Accelerator will enable potential suppliers to collaborate, experiment with, and fast track innovative ideas against a series of Defence challenges which are designed to focus innovative endeavour across UK Defence and security. They reflect the biggest challenges, risks and opportunities facing our Forces with the aim of preserving or enhancing the UK’s strategic edge.
Innovation is a vital element in developing the UK’s economic strength, productivity and competitiveness. Building on this, the MEISC seeks to improve the links and opportunities between the Royal Navy and Scottish academia and industry – seen as vital given Scotland’s role at the heart of the UK National Shipbuilding Strategy and as the home of the UK Submarine Service.
The Conference will allow existing and potential members of the Defence supply chain, including SMEs, to understand how to collaborate with Defence, and develop new routes to market for their technologies.
A legacy of the conference will see the Royal Navy, University of Strathclyde and industry guaranteeing funding for at least six defence innovation PhDs, with the final number and subjects being confirmed in January ahead of the new academic year in autumn 2017.
After speaking at the Conference, Minister Harriett Baldwin will visit the Govan shipyard to cut steel two of the Royal Navy’s new Offshore Patrol Vehicles. The OPV programme sustains around 800 Scottish shipbuilding jobs on the Clyde and hundreds more across 113 companies in the UK supply chain.
Latest News from
Ministry of Defence
UK to double F-35 fleet with 17-jet order, Defence Secretary announces16/11/2018 10:15:00
The multi-million-pound contract signed will see the UK own 35 stealth jets by end of 2022 with Britain manufacturing 15% of the overall global order for 255 aircraft.
UK leads Northern Group response to disinformation15/11/2018 15:15:15
The UK and northern European allies have agreed to establish a multinational group of experts to tackle disinformation at a Northern Group meeting in Norway yesterday.
First ever UK-wide veterans strategy launched14/11/2018 15:15:15
The first ever UK-wide strategy on the delivery of support for veterans has been published today.
Britain’s top armed forces-friendly employers honoured14/11/2018 13:15:00
Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson has praised Britain’s forces-friendly businesses at an awards ceremony in central London.
Millions awarded to defence firms leading fight for modern battlefield13/11/2018 13:15:00
Defence firms with cutting-edge ideas ranging from laser radars to Artificial Intelligence have been awarded over £10 million after being named winners of the MOD and Defence Growth Partnership (DGP) Innovation Challenge by Defence Minister Stuart Andrew.
UK Forces return home after successful NATO exercise13/11/2018 10:15:00
NATO's biggest exercise in a decade comes to a close.
Army start biggest military robot exercise in British history, Defence Secretary announces12/11/2018 17:04:00
British troops will today begin testing out over 70 examples of futuristic technology including enhanced surveillance drones and unmanned vehicles on the fields of Salisbury Plain, Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson has announced.
MOD sets out vision to diversify supply base09/11/2018 13:15:00
The Ministry of Defence has today announced plans for modernising its estate and establishing a broader and more diverse supply base.