10-13 September 2019 | Excel London

Innovation On The Frontline

Innovation On The Frontline


Innovation On The Frontline

12 Sep 2019
Innovation Hub Theatre
Innovation Focus

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.
Donna Wharam, SO2 Strategic Force Development / RAF Innovation Exchange - Royal Air Force
Adam Coffey RA, SO2 Innovation, Army Innovation Team - British Army
Pete Williams, Head of jHub - Ministry of Defence
Ben Parish , Head of jHub Digital - Ministry of Defence

  • DSEI showcases the best of British defence technology and innovation on the world stage. The UK Government looks forward to engaging with strategic partners, international delegations and pioneering defence companies on the global defence and security agenda.
    Anne-Marie Trevelyan MP, Minister for Defence Procurement
    UK MOD
  • I very much look forward to continuing my personal support to DSEI. It provides an excellent opportunity to explore the development of airpower capability, through engagement with the widest range of industry and international partners.
    Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier KCB CBE DFC MA RAF Chief of the Air Staff
    Royal Air Force
  • I much look forward to DSEI. We intend to build on the very positive experience as we construct the partnerships we need to deal with the complexity of the future operating environment
    General Sir Nicholas Carter KCB CBE DSO ADC Gen Chief of the Defence Staff
    Ministry of Defence
  • Once again the Royal Navy is proud to be at the vanguard of DSEI 2019 and I look forward to what I know will be a hugely beneficial opportunity for us all to explore maritime warfare development with so many partners from industry and academia, and with our counterparts from overseas.
    Admiral Sir Philip Jones KCB ADC, The First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff
    Royal Navy
  • DSEI is a highlight within the defence calendar, I use it to find out what the most recent developments are in every technological area affecting for defence. Without DSEI I fear this sort of interaction, information exchange and knowledge of developments across all domains would be lost. DSEI is an invaluable international biannual event .
    Rt Hon Dr Julian Lewis MP, Chairman, House of Commons Defence Select Committee
    UK Parliament
  • DSEI is a fantastic showcase for defence companies where international buyers, sellers, developers, thinkers, educators and the trainers can all get together. The UK defence industry is looking to recruit more engineers, scientists and developers into 200,000 jobs and up to 10,000 apprentices within UK defence companies. DSEI is an excellent tool to highlight the challenges the industry face as well as showcase its capabilities domestically and overseas.
    James Gray MP, House of Commons Defence Committee
    UK Parliament

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