Introduction from our Managing Director, Phil Williams

Like many, I am sure that TD-Info members are watching events in Ukraine unfold with horror. Few of us would have contemplated that Europe would see such scenes like those not visited upon us for 80 years. As the West ramps up its response, we move into a busy couple of months. On 28/29 April, Gen Richard Wardlaw OBE, Chief of Defence Logistics and Support (CDLS), will host SupportNet and Charlie Forte, MOD Chief Information Officer (CIO), will complete the final 3* conference this year with Defence Information (DI22) on 8/9 June. All our work has a sharper focus and a greater urgency, and I encourage your participation.

Changes in Team Defence Information

After an all too brief spell with TD-Info, Colin Rowlands is returning to familiar surroundings in the deserts of the UAE. I would like to thank Colin for his sterling work in support of our activities, particularly working with Steve Green on the DIO Sustainability project. Thanks Colin, and all the best to you and your family.

This month we welcome Stu Olden who will be supporting Steve Green on the CDLS Additive Manufacture (AdM) Challenge Work Streams. Stu has 26 years’ experience as a military engineer (REME), 15 years in industry with consultancy, product and engineering organisations (BMT Defence, Permali Gloucester & Williams Advanced Engineering). He’s recently set up his own company supporting SMEs & start-ups to grow their business through new market entry and technology/engineering exploitation. 

Team Defence Information Vanguard

The Team Defence Information Vanguard (TD-V) is a board of new and early career professionals, from both industry and the MOD. TD-V formed in 2019 (read more here) to bring fresh perspectives to today’s problems and initiatives in the UK Defence enterprise. 

TD-V supports the common and strategic aims of TD-Info with projects and initiatives such as May’s Hackathon with the Future Capabilities Group (FCG). During the Hackathon coders will compete to hack Boston Dynamics SPOT Robots. The results of this will inform the MOD Strategic approach to open API architecture for Robotics and Autonomous Systems. TD-V members are also supporting the SupportNET conference to run a “Dragons Den” style innovation competition. Entrants will have the opportunity to pitch their most innovative ideas to revolutionise Defence Support (DefSpt) to CDLS.

TD-V are looking for more keen professionals to join the board so if you are passionate about making a difference, please contact Andie Johnson-Mitchell.

Support Chain and Support Engineering Working Group (SCSEWG) rebranded as the Integrated Product Support Community of Practice (IPS CoP)

Over the years the SCSEWG members have changed the name of this group to make sure that it is always relevant within the DefSpt enterprise. Following a member survey and the update of their Terms of Reference (here), the SCSEWG has been rebranded as the Integrated Product Support Community of Practice (IPS CoP) with the new name being formalised at their quarterly meeting on 24th Mar 2022. For further information please contact Leyton Lark.

New members 

This month we’re pleased to welcome Thales back as lead sponsor and Mace Ltd, Alten and Ecolog International (UK) Ltd as new members.

Future events – Conferences 

SupportNET 22 – Delivering Better Availability – 28-29 April 2022 – Sofitel Hotel Terminal 5 Heathrow

SupportNET 22 is the opportunity for Senior leaders from Defence Support, Defence Equipment and Support, Front Line Commands, industry, academia, international partners, and external speakers to articulate and discuss how to improve availability.    

“The operational and training demands we place on equipment availability, spares and commodities have either not been appropriately challenged or policed…At the heart of Support Advantage is a performance ambition which prizes a paradigm shift in platform and equipment availability and the development of superior, assured, environmentally sustainable and cost-effective support services.”  Defence Support Strategy 2020. 

There are many benefits of attending SupportNET 22:

  • Understand Defence’s support requirements in the Maritime, Land and Air domains.
  • Understand and influence Defence Support policy, direction, and development.
  • Opportunity to conduct business with Defence partners.
  • Understand the direction of travel in Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S). 
  • Receive thoughts and observations from International and Partner Nations. 
  • Appreciate external (non-government agency) perspectives and areas of focus. 
  • Understand industrial key performance initiatives and new strategies. 

Day One speakers include: 

  • Lt Gen Richard Wardlaw OBE, CDLS
  • Air Cdre Ange Baker
  • Rt Hon Jeremy Quin MP
  • Prof Roy Allison
  • VADM Philip Cullom USN (Retd)
  • Air Cdre Rich Pratley SpOps, Plans 
  • Capt Damian Exworthy RN
  • VADM Chris Gardner – DG Ships
  • Lt Col Nigel Anderson – JtSp, PAC

Day Two speakers will include:

  • Capt Damian Exworthy RN
  • AVM Richard Hill DSpTx
  • Dr Jo Fallowfield Institute of Naval Medicine 
  • Kev Richardson CEO CILT
  • Air Cdre Ange Baker
  • Maj Gen Simon Hutchings DJtSp
  • Mr Chris Hammick DE&S SMaRT
  • Brig Jo Chestnutt Hd DSCOM 
  • Lt Gen Richard Wardlaw CDLS

Speakers STC

SupportNET 22 is free to attend with lunch and refreshments included. There is also an exhibition with more than 48 stands. Don’t delay and book your place here now. 

You are also invited to attend the Evening Reception for extra networking opportunities and discussions on Day 1, bar and nibbles included, sponsored by Appian and TLMNexus.


Also at SupportNet 22 will be Defence Support and TD Info-Vanguard’s Support Innovation Challenge (SIC) – ‘Delivering Better Availability’. 

You can still apply until Thursday 14 April. Read here to find out how to apply and send your entries to Andie Johnson-Mitchell. Selected pairs/individuals will present innovative ideas to a panel of experts and thought leaders. The winners will have their idea assessed within the Innovation, Research and Experimentation (IRE) programme of work.

Leidos and Oracle are sponsoring the SIC Prizes and Evening Reception.  

Defence Information 2022 (DI22) – Mobilising the Defence Digital Backbone – 8-9 June 2022 at the Active Conference Centre, Thornbury, Bristol, and online.

DI22 promises to be an equally interesting and informative event with contributions from across the MOD Defence Digital community, industry, and academia.  

Last month we listed some of the speakers we have for Day 1: Information Strategy & Information Enablers for example, 

  • Delivering the Defence Digital & IT Transformation – Charlie Forte, Chief Information Officer (CIO), MOD 
  • Mobilising the Defence Digital Backbone – John Fitzpatrick, Director Digital Enablement, MOD 
  • Delivering the Defence Digital Foundry – Maj Gen Tom Copinger-Symes, Director Strategy and Military Digitisation, MOD 
  • Implementing the Defence Data Strategy – Caroline Bellamy, Director Chief Data Officer MOD 

For Day 2 the theme is: Support, Services & Support Information Strategies. These are the confirmed speakers for day 2: 

  • Business Modernisation for Support (BMfS) – Richard Puttick, Hd CIO, Defence Support, Joint Support, MOD
  • DSIS Implementation and Industry Engagement – Chris Cook, Head of Strategy – MOD Defence Digital
  • Supply Chain Resilience in DE&S@25 – Shaun Goodman SM&RT, Supply Chain Resilience Control Tower Lead, DG Commercial
  • Delivering MoD IS; challenges, modernisation and transformation – Andrew Smith, MOD IS Programme Lead, Boeing Defence UK
  • Finale Speaker – Adrian Baguley, DE&S Deputy CEO

Members of TD-Info Vanguard are organising two sessions after lunch:

  •  Space: the information, data and intelligence aspect 
  •  Disinformation and the disabling effects both within theatre and across the entire supply          chain

We are still inviting contributions for the prestigious Excellence Awards. This popular competition encourages a wide range of entries. For example, the last five winners include: a security start-up; an individual working in an aircraft manufacturer’s support team; a micro business with a unique approach to asset-management software; and two large OEMs.  Send your application to Tony Butler before 2 May 2022. We’ll announce the finalists a week later. 

This year your visits to our sponsors’ and exhibitors’ stands (physical and virtual) will again raise money for SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity which has been providing lifelong support to our Forces and their families since 1885. Last year SSAFA’s teams of volunteers and employees helped more than 85,000 people in need, from Second World War veterans to those who have served in more recent conflicts or are still currently serving, and their families. 

Many thanks to DI22 Event sponsors: Appian, IFS, Google, VIMA Group, Mastek (Gold), Dataiku, Atkins, D2iQ, DXC, Motorola, Cisco (Silver) and Camcode, Whitetree, PEGA (Bronze), exhibiting are Garrison, Allan Webb, Caci, TVS SCS, and Nexor, MEGA ((virtual) with support stands from Women in Defence Charter, CUPA, TD-Info, DAMA UK, MOD Teams (TBC) and the Excellence Awards finalists. Finally, thank you to Kahootz for providing DI22 with DI22 Virtual Event Platform and Fujitsu for Event Support. 

Please note all sponsorships and exhibition space is now taken but virtual stands are unlimited. If you would like a virtual stand, just £250 plus VAT, please contact Sue Russell. Virtual stands are open to both virtual delegates (estimate 400 +) and physical (350+) delegates and continue to be open on the event platform for 30 days plus post event. For more information on DI22 contact Steve Shepherd


Other future events 

Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) The revised version (CMMC 2.0) is on the horizon. This month Andy Watkin-Child, CMMC Center of Excellence Advisory Board member, will brief us on CMMC 2.0 and related matters. If you would like to join us, please email Andy Corbett.

Ask Me Anything (AMA) Webinars We continue the series of monthly AMA webinars that have been highly successful and extremely well received by TD-Info members.  Register for the forthcoming free webinars using the links below:

Implementation of Asset Management (AM) across Defence 

Under the auspices of TD-Info and the IAM South-West Branch, the Defence Asset Management Community of Practice will be kicking off its first collaborative project, titled ‘Implementation of AM across Defence.’ The anticipated areas of consideration are:

  • Which parts of defence enterprise should be doing which parts of AM
  • What is common across defence
  • What is unique to some parts of defence
  • How can TD-Info support the industry to move forward

We are aiming to involve a wide representation of MOD and Industry (Land, Air, Maritime, Submarine, Defence Digital, Infrastructure, Equipment and Support). There is a draft mandate (see contact details below). This draft mandate will be reviewed and firmed-up at the kick-off session in April (date to be confirmed). This project offers great networking and development opportunities, helping to build the Asset Management network across TD-Info and IAM members.

For more details about supporting this new project and the draft mandate, contact Steve Green or Pierre-Michael Delamotte.

TD Info developing support for MOD DE&S Future Capability Group (FCG) 

Through the Open Innovation Laboratory (OIL), TD-Info continues to actively support and assist the FCG in kick-starting key initiatives identified jointly by DE&S and the MOD Front Line Commands (FLCs). In summary, the purpose of OIL is to provide consistent communication and collaboration across industry to find solutions to problems/opportunities. OIL achieves this by collaborating with MOD problem owners and funders, defence primes and OEMs, established tier suppliers, solution architects and systems integrators, other sector supply chains and SMEs. Current activities at the early planning stage include:

  • Hackathon using Boston Dynamics ‘Spot’ to identify API and integration strategies (see how to register below). 
  • Production of a paper to inform the Robotic and Autonomous System API and Integration Strategy.
  • Hydrogen Network Event – details of this face-to-face event at RAF Leeming coming soon. 
  • Investigation into a cloud-based 3-D printing depository 
  • Investigation into ‘smart’ asset tracking

These activities build upon the new engagement approach outlined in the FCG Industry Engagement Strategy released in July 2021. To find out more, contact either Steve Green or Darin Tudor

FCG OIL Robot Dog Olympic Hackathons – May 2022

Imagine an open architecture where the latest Robotic and Autonomous Systems (RAS) can plug and play into a system of systems with a device agnostic application store. TD-Info and the FCG OIL will be hosting the very first Hackathon events over 14/15 May and 16/17 May 2022 to explore user-centric workflows and human machine teaming to achieve a step change in RAS capabilities and operational effects.  Register for the events using the links below:

Contact Jack Wakefield or Steve Green for more information. 

Defence Operational Energy Strategy 

As part of the CCSG activities, Defence Support will lead a Defence Operational Energy Strategy (DOES) which will sit alongside the Defence Estate Energy Strategy.  This community will provide a mechanism for industry engagement into the DOES.  As details emerge, we will keep you informed.  For further information please contact Steve Green.

Through Life Sustainability Toolset

Through Life Sustainability Toolset the Sustainable Defence Support SWG recently launched the Through Life Sustainability Toolset task which will consider leading practices, approaches, methodologies, tools, and skills from across sectors that can support the Defence Sustainable Support Strategy.  A task team of volunteers and interested parties from MOD and industry will collaborate to produce a paper on Through Life Sustainability. TD-Info will be hosting a meeting to discuss the task on 20 April 2022. To find out more information please download the task form and register here to attend or contact Steve Green

Multi Domain Integration (MDI) Working Group – 12 April 2022 – Exploring greater integration for DE&S and MOD through assessment of the Integration Maturity Diagnostic Framework

The TD-Info MDI Working Group elected to move activities from sense-making to ‘Bolder, Smarter and Faster’ output to make a tangible difference to MOD’s MDI approach. The MDI Working Group, is also actively supporting the UKStratCom mandate to develop a Multi Domain Integration Change Programme (MDICP) to deliver strategic and operational advantage as described in the Integrated Operating Concept 2025 (here).

On 12 April 2022, the MDI Working Group will explore the DE&S & StratCom Integration Diagnostic Framework. (Event here.) This is the 16th intervention since the launch of this working group in July 2021. Within the working group we have four subgroups: 

  • Enabling MD Design
  • Stakeholders & Rich Picture
  • Enterprise/MDI 4.0
  • Inform & Educate

Impressively the working group has now engaged 300 people representing MOD, industry, and academia. So far in 2022 the MDI Working Group has explored Enterprise Architecting, Integrating Design Authority & MDI Framework in support of the MOD’s MDI Change Programme one year plan. We have also helped author a ‘Value Management for Defence proposition’ paper, currently on circulation within the MOD. For more information on contact Steve Worsnip

ASD-STE100 Simplified Technical English (STE) Training – 4-7 July 2022

The next ASD-STE100 Simplified Technical English (STE) online training course will run from 09:00-12:30 daily between Monday 4 July and Thursday 7 July 2022 on MS Teams with Ciaran Dodd, ASD-approved STE trainer. To register for the training please email Ciaran Dodd.

UK STE Working Group Meeting – 16 June 2022 

The UK STE Working Group meets every three months and is chaired by Ciaran Dodd, the UK representative on the ASD-STE100 Simplified Technical English (STE) Maintenance Group. The meetings give you an opportunity to find out about STE, talk to people who use STE and contribute changes to the STE specification. Ciaran recently attended the STEMG meeting at Airbus in Seville, Spain. To find out more, contact Ciaran Dodd.

Recent events 

Commodity Usage Principals and Assurance (CUPA)

On 8 March TD-Info held a workshop at Briarlands and over TEAMS to refine the process and start planning an online portal. This assurance process that rates the trustworthiness of Entities, Products and Services will be aimed at a broad market including CPNI, Government and other public sectors in addition to Defence and will rate existing approvals and accreditations to give a trustworthiness mark, as well as offering user and peer reviews to subscribers. For more information, email Andy Corbett.

Cirrus Programme   

On 22 March TD-Info and techUK jointly held a hybrid Industry Engagement event with the MOD to update Industry on MOD’s progress and plans regarding the Cirrus Programme, including updates on MODCloud progress and Data Centre Rationalisation. The session also stimulated a Q & A discussion on how collaboration with industry can support progress in the delivery and adoption of cloud capabilities.  The event was well received and will be run as a Quarterly event going forward.  The slides from the event can be found here.  For further information please contact Andy Whatman

Information Security Forum (ISF)

The ISF met on 23 March, receiving updates from the MOD Policy Team and a presentation from the Secure by Design team. The Industry Chair, Mark Parkin from Rolls-Royce, put out a call for industry to highlight their biggest Information security issues so we can create a ‘top 3’ to focus activity in the most needed areas. If you have any suggestions, please email Andy Corbett.  

Sustainable Defence Support SWG 

Last month the Sustainable Defence Support SWG met at Unipart.  The focus for the session was the Sustainable Support Strategy and a workshop considering how to increase resilience in the deployed bases though self-sustainment. For more information and links to the summary of outputs, please contact Steve Green. 

Gladiator – Defence Operational Training Capability (Air) Innovation Workshop – 6 April 2022

The DOTC capability announced by the Minister for Defence Procurement in May 2019, known as Gladiator, will evolve through incremental acquisition and allow the UK to undertake synthetic training for air, land, and maritime forces on a secure network.  TD-Info and the Air Command DOTC(A) Programme Team are pleased to launch a new working group to explore how an innovative approach can be taken to better exploit the opportunity better use of data offers synthetic training in the air domain.   During this one-day workshop at the Defence Academy Shrivenham, participants were asked to share their knowledge and experience to identify areas of further exploration. For further information please contact  Luca Leone.

Recent publications 

Defence Supplier Forum (DSF) Newsletter is available on the TD-Info website here. The Defence Supplier Forum (DSF) enables strategic engagement between government and the defence industry to facilitate the effective sharing of information, aligning objectives and optimising the delivery of defence capability. The DSF is the primary MOD-industry engagement mechanism on strategic topics. Alongside its role in delivering the agreed programme of work, the DSF is central to supporting agile joint government/industry responses to significant national issues, including epidemics and emergencies.  

A new economic report has been published by the Joint Economic Data Hub (JEDHub) outlining the huge value of the defence sector to UK jobs, businesses and exports.  Based in the UK Defence Solutions Centre, the JEDHub is a collaborative initiative to improve understanding of the defence sector’s contribution to the UK economy and an important deliverable of the 2021 Defence and Security Industrial Strategy (DSIS). The Minister for Defence Procurement, Jeremy Quin, said “The first report from the JEDHub provides new insights on the value of the sector, beyond keeping us safe in times of trouble – and I am delighted to see industry and government working together to help us grow our understanding of that vital contribution.”

Defence Support Digital Twin Community of Practice publishes end of term output covering activities completed between July 2021 and February 2022. Read the report here.

Human Factors Integration – The MOD recently updated the Joint Service Publication (JSP) 912 promulgating MOD policy regarding the process of human factors integration (HFI) in defence systems for service personnel and contractors. HFI involves the identification and trade-off of people related considerations that could affect capability development and delivery.  The JSP is published in 2 parts (Directive and Guidance) and available on the Gov website here.

Industry Security Assurance Centre (ISAC) – The Government recently issued information regarding the Industry Security Assurance Centre (ISAC) which is responsible for providing relevant defence contractors with up-to-date security and business continuity policy and guidance.  The ISAC provides specialist and relevant advice to reduce security and business continuity risks and amplify MOD and government security policy requirements. These security services are provided to DE&S and the defence industry. This includes the provision of visit and visitor clearances through the International Visits Control Office (IVCO).  Further information is available on the Gov website here

Human Machine Teaming Prior Information Notice published on 27 February 2022. Read it here