MoD announces £6m fund to improve data usage in defence

Organisations can apply for a share of £6m to investigate new ways of using data to improve decision-making in defence.

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) has up to £3m to invest in innovative new technologies, processes and ways of operating that improve the ability of defence staff to analyse and exploit data in decision-making.

A further £3m could be invested to develop the best ideas in a second phase of the competition.

The MOD is seeking solutions in three challenge areas:

  • rapid and automated integration of new sensors
  • freeing up personnel by the innovative use of machine learning algorithms and artificial intelligence for military advantage
  • effective use of operator cognitive capacity, particularly by human-machine teaming

The MoD is making more and more use of sensors. This means there is an increasingly large volume of complex data available to military operators and decision-makers.

It needs to increase its ability to analyse data and quickly use it to make informed and effective decisions.

This funding competition is part of SBRI (the Small Business Research Initiative). A first phase seeks initial ideas. Winners of phase 1 funding will compete in a second phase to develop the idea further.

The competition will also see projects split between a fast track and standard track approach. The aim is to achieve greater pace but also to allow smaller companies and low maturity solutions to take part.

Further information regarding the competition is as follows:

  • The deadline for phase 1 proposals is midday on 21 March 2017.
  • SBRI is open to any organisation, and projects will attract 100% funded development contracts
  • phase 1 fast track projects could attract up to £150,000 and are expected to last up to three months
  • phase 1 standard track projects could attract up to £100,000 and are expected to last up to six months
  • briefing events for potential applicants will be held on 23 February 2017 and 27 February 2017

Further information can be found here.

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