Innovation On The Frontline
1. Delivering Decisive Advantage Today – The Army’s view on its innovation drive
Maj Adam Coffey RA, SO2 Innovation, British Army Innovation Team
Since the 2016 Defence Innovation Initiative, innovation across the Army has gained significant traction within all structures and, organisationally we seek to encourage innovation across People, Process and Technology areas.
People are the Army’s ultimate capability and via the Defence Ideas platform we are now able to challenge, engage & empower all our soldiers to tackle the Army’s challenges.
Streamlined and clear Process can facilitate and encourage innovation. Procuring at pace, testing and evaluating in novel ways, whilst not being afraid of a project risking failure is crucial to ensure that our processes support and encourage innovation – we seek to test those presumptions that suggest the above is not possible.
Technological development has included much more experimentation, demonstrated by our efforts throughout the Army Warfighting Experiment, Autonomous Warrior programme and the development of our Prototype Warfare approach.
On our horizon are a Venture Capital fund and a BattleLab testing facility.
2. Setting the Scene for Innovation in the Royal Air Force
Squadron Leader Donna Wharam, RAF Innovation Exchange (RIX)
This presentation will provide the audience with a detailed understanding of the RAF innovation landscape with a focus on recent initiatives to include: the RAF Innovation Exchange (RIX); Rapid Capability Office (RCO); Air Information Experimentation (AiX); RAFX (our first smart station); and the Freeman Air & Space Institute. The audience will be provided detail on how to engage with the RAF and what we are doing to facilitate and encourage successful collaboration. In addition, we will discuss current Air and Space Power challenges to highlight areas where the RAF are actively seeking innovative solutions. The audience will hear about recent successes and will be signposted to opportunities and areas where we are very keen to engage with industry at every scale which includes Defence Primes, Small Medium Enterprise and non-traditional suppliers alike.
3. jHub - Advantage Through Innovation + jHub digital
Lt Col Pete Williams, Head of the jHub
Ben Parish, Head of jHub Digital
The jHub is a radical proposition for Defence: an organisation set up to conduct disruptive and transformational innovation, established outside-the-wire (in a WeWork building), empowered with 4* access and a delegated pilot budget, optimised to re-purpose and adapt mature technology for military use - including from outside the traditional Defence sector. We work for the Joint Force Command (soon to be renamed the Strategic Command), which contains nearly all of the strategic capabilities in Defence (cyber, intelligence, SF etc). Our macro priorities are Information Age warfare and multi-domain integration (air, land, sea, cyber, space). We focus heavily on user-centred design: connecting end users with a job to be done to world class technologies; we then fund and accelerate their pilots, and provide access to the JFC innovation sub-committee for strategic procurement decisions.
The Head of the jHub will then give a brief overview of the ongoing project within JFC to scale the impact of innovation, including expanding the innovation ecosystem. He will then introduce the Head of one of these new hubs, jHub Digital, who will summarise the approach to driving innovation through digital and IT, and illustrate the relationship with the MOD CIO’s innovation team. The presentation will showcase some examples of digital innovation projects, and discuss some challenge areas that will be the focus on upcoming investigations and experiments.
4. An insight into the Royal Navy’s approach to innovation
The Royal Navy’s Discover, Analysis and Rapid Exploitation (DARE) Team, Maritime Capability Division, Royal Navy
Innovation has been at the heart of naval warfare since the age of sail, with our most recent innovation surge starting 2 years ago. The ecosystem has quickly established and is delivering battle winning capability to the front line already. The Royal Navy is seeking new and exciting opportunities to work with industry to rapidly deliver new capabilities and this talk will provide an insight to the ecosystem, our successes and future aspiration.The Royal Navy has vibrant innovation ecosystem, including accelerators specialising in unmanned systems, artificial intelligence and communication systems. The Discovery, Analysis and Rapid Exploitation (DARE) Team sit in the centre of this ecosystem acting as a focal point for all innovation activity within the Royal Navy. The DARE Team works in parallel with the Royal Navy’s Chief Technology Officer, responsible for horizon scanning for novel technologies that will disrupt the paradigm of naval warfare.