In the recent December 2018 UK MoD statement about the much delayed Modernising Defence Programme, there was a clear emphasis on and promise of investment in innovation. Vedette is proud to have been selected to deliver one such project recently under the Defence and Security Accelerator programme.
It was also very interesting to see that there is a review taking place into UK defence acquisition. It may be that some serious adjustments to the Levene process are being contemplated; certainly there has been for some time a concern felt acutely by industry as the cost of bidding rises, that the bureaucracy of acquisition has become a ‘luxury’ the UK can ill afford.
It is not difficult to see the link between the two as a variety of innovation initiatives seek to try to by-pass or stimulate a more rapid and effective route to delivering much needed capability into the hands of soldiers sailors and airmen.
Innovation initiatives have a tendency to gravitate towards easy rather than challenging capability gaps. Our Associates are finding increasingly in the range of projects we undertake in Ireland, the UK and Europe a common risk. This is that exploitation is not sufficiently considered early in innovation project lifecycles. It is good see that DASA have recognised this recently and are committed to making their programmes far more focussed on actually delivering real capability to the armed forces.
Exploitation is where the rubber meets the road. A bright idea, or more usually, bringing a tested non-security solution into the security domain, can, and in past has been, rapidly exploited on the battlefield. Considered early, there is no reason why necessary process, organisational and through life support implications can’t be anticipate, in parallel, to achieve a rapid step change in capability.
Vedette’s has extensive experience in this space. In NITEworks and with the ASC framework in the UK, and in EU projects, we have shown that we understand and can help facilitate exploitation in areas like Cyber, Information Advantage and Targeting. Our current project with dstl is looking at mechanisms to assess the relative benefit of different modelling and simulation solutions within collective training. We hope that the welcome investment in Innovation spending will be channelled into areas where a meaningful improvement to our defence capability in a short timescale is achieved. The deteriorating threat picture demands no less.