The Defence Information Symposium 2016 took place at Chelsea Football Club’s ground, Stamford Bridge, on the 13th and 14th September. The event was well attended with over 700 defence and technology professionals. Mike Stone, CIO of the UK Ministry of Defence and the Information Systems and Services for the Joint Forces Command (ISS) Team, laid out the next steps over the coming 18 months for the Defence as a Platform (DaaP) Journey. He also led a number of sessions and talks to encourage disruptive thinking and re-imagining the delivery of information capabilities to deliver radical change, more quickly, cheaply and to greater effect.
I myself have never attended the event before and was blown away by the quality of presentations in both delivery and content. The sessions started by looking at the problems that the defence sector were facing – new challenges emerging every day from new technologies that have the potential to cause threats in the battlespace, the pace at which technology is moving and the struggle that this sector faces trying to keep up and exploit these technologies.
We listened to speakers from high tech Small-Medium size Enterprises (SMEs) and innovative start-ups – these are the companies that the defence sector want to work with. To be truly innovative, these technologies will have to come from SMEs and start-ups who are on the cutting edge of technology due to their ‘innovate or die’ outlook. The defence sector understands that they need to encourage these types of companies to work with them, and understand that the length and size of these contracts are excluding the SMEs from the competitions.
Alongside the speakers, there was the 2016 News Defence Information Symposium SME Innovation Challenge sponsored by Raytheon – a challenge to the SME community to address some of the biggest technological and organisational issues facing the UK Armed Forces. Envitia are pleased to have won this challenge and Roger Brackin, CTO of Envitia, presented our innovation at the closing spot of the Symposium. The presentation focused on Mobile Technologies for Shared Situational Awareness (SSA) and how data and information can be shared between these devices. This innovation combined the work conducted under the AGIS (Advanced Geospatial Information and Intelligence Services) for Augmented Reality and work currently undertaken for the Defence Geospatial Services (DGS) contract.
Overall, this was a very enlightening event full of inspiring sessions, and highlighting the future technology requirements for the MoD.
Sophie Phillips, Sales Executive