Introduction from our Managing Director, Phil Williams
As we emerge from our Covid lockdown and enjoy our new freedoms, our thoughts turn to Ukraine and I am reminded of the words of G K Chesterton:
“The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him”.
I met with Norman Bone, Chair of the Defence Suppliers Forum, at the end of February and we mused on the UK’s response to Russia’s invasion; would the DSF mobilise in the way it did to respond to Covid? I am confident that when called upon, TD-Info and its members will be to the fore.
Staff changes in Team Defence Information – Here, as promised last month, are the introductions to our new colleagues.
Julian Dayment joins us to support:
- Business development and customer relationship management for lead sponsors.
- The MOD with the SupportNet 22 conference.
Julian has extensive business development experience having worked for a number of companies in sales and marketing roles. Julian’s first tasks will be to shadow Kevin Atkins (who is leaving in May) and to provide TD-Info support to MOD for the SupportNet 22 conference on 28/29 April 2022. Julian will also interact with potential TD-Info members.
Andy Corbett is responsible for the Information Security Forum (ISF), the CMMC Working Group, the Microsoft365 Working Group and Commodity Usage Principles and Assurance (CUPA). Andy was a member of all of these groups in his previous role as ICT and Cyber Security Director – TP Group plc. In January 2022, Andy started Wheatfield Fox Consulting to help small and medium enterprises to gain basic levels of cyber security and to set them on the journey to good cyber health.
Andie Johnson-Mitchell is looking after the People and Skills area which includes:
- the Vanguard Programme. (Click here to find out more about Vanguard)
- the MOD Professional Development (PD) programme.
The Vanguard Programme will be involved in all of TD-Info’s activities, for example they will run a ‘Dragon’s Den’ Innovation Challenge at SupportNet22 and a Hackathon for the Future Capability Group (FCG). Other pursuits include two speaking slots at DI22: one about defence and space and the other on Disinformation in the Supply Chain. The MOD PD programme has been re-energised. We are currently defining what we want to achieve and what outcomes indicate success. I will also look at the Good Practice Study Group (GPSG) to identify specific research areas for the young professionals.
Andie has spent 25 years in the defence industry, working in companies like IBM, Serco and Raytheon. She is a strategy consultant in her own business specialising in military logistics and supply chain solutions.
This month we’re pleased to announce our new members are the Xpedite Group of Companies, AERALIS Ltd, Xtend and Netcompany.
Future events – conferences
SupportNET22 – Delivering Better Availability – 09:00-16:00 – 28-29 April 2022 – Sofitel Hotel Terminal 5 Heathrow – SupportNet22 is the opportunity for senior leaders from Defence Support, Defence Equipment and Support, Front Line Commands, industry, academia, international partners, and external speakers to discuss how to deliver:
“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
Click here for the benefits of attending SupportNET22.
Our outline programme for day 1 includes:
Keynote speeches from The Minister of State for Defence Procurement (Min DP), Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS) and Chief of Defence Logistics and Support (CDLS).
- ‘Setting the Demand Signal’ including the possible future threat environment and Support Operating Concept (SOC).
- ‘Designing Through Life’ with examples from industry and defence such as Support Solution Envelope 21.
- ‘Supporting Through Life’ with examples like the Royal Navy’s Project KRACKEN.
- ‘Sustaining Through Life’ with topics that include Defence Supply Chain Strategy and Strategic Base Development.
- Launch of Support Advantage Industry Charter by CDLS.
There is an evening reception to give everyone an opportunity to discuss these subjects in an informal environment.
On day 2 we have presentations on:
- ‘Enabling Through Life’ that include topics like human factors, performance and data and ‘Doing so Sustainably’ with vignettes and examples from industry.
‘Doing so Collaboratively’ with presentations from international NATO partners.
This event is free to attend with lunch and refreshments provided on both days. Industry stands can be booked for a small fee and will showcase existing and future technology. Click here to register as a delegate or to request and industry stand. For more information contact Kevin Atkins.
Defence Information 2022 (DI22) – Mobilising the Defence Digital Backbone – 8-9 June 2022 at the Active Conference Centre, Thornbury, Bristol, and online – Here’s just a taste of what we have in place already for Day 1: Information Strategy & Information Enablers
Our first speaker, Charlie Forte, Chief Information Officer (CIO), MOD, highlights several key activities and we will cover all of these during the day with expert speakers such as:
- Mobilising the Defence Digital Backbone John Fitzpatrick, Director Digital Enablement
- 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
- Mobilising AI on the Digital Backbone – Bridging the Gap from Work Automation to Digital Optimisation Peter van der Putten, Director Decisioning & AI Solutions & Assistant Professor, AI & Creative Research, Pega
- People, Integration and Agility: the Vertebrae of the Digital Backbone Oliver Organ, Business Development Manager, VIMA
- Unravelling the Digital Backbone – people, process, technology, data and secure by design Steve Bell, Technical Director – Atkins
For Day 2 the theme is: Support, Services & Support Information Strategies. Keep watching for future speakers as we confirm them.
Details of how to register your attendance are coming soon! Tickets are for both days and include the extra networking session on Day 1.
We are still inviting contributions for the prestigious Excellence Award. Please submit your ideas to Tony Butler.
For more information on DI22, please contact Steve Shepherd. If you would like to be a sponsor for DI22 or exhibit, sponsorships now on a first come first serve basis, please contact Sue Russell.
Many thanks to DI22 Event sponsors: Appian, IFS, Google, VIMA Group (Gold), Dataiku, Atkins, D2iQ and Motorola (Silver) and Camcode, Whitetree and PEGA (Bronze), exhibiting are MEGA (virtual). Garrison with support stands from Women in Defence Charter, CUPA, TD-Info, 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.
Trading Forum meeting 11:00-12:00 8th March 2022 on MS Teams – The Trading Forum brings the MOD and industry together to:
hear the MOD’s latest update on its procurement systems and processes and discuss procurement best practice with industry. The Trading Forum is your chance to help shape and influence the future direction of MOD’s procurement processes. Contact Andy Whatman to find out more.
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’ www.bostondynamics.com to identify API and integration strategies – details of this face-to-face event coming soon.
- 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 coming soon.
Information Security Forum (ISF) Meeting 23 March 2022 on MS Teams – The aim of the ISF is to collaboratively develop guidance, influence policy and communicate key messages to members and, where appropriate, broader stakeholders on information security and assurance.
Commodity Usage Principles and Assurance (CUPA) 11:00 – 14:30 Meeting 8 March 2022 – Hybrid (TD-Info Office, Rudgeway or MS Teams)
CUPA is a new approach to assuring commodity information products and services. The proposed CUPA process identifies methods of assuring Off the Shelf (OTS) products and services meet the required MOD security standards. It is proposed that products and services that pass the CUPA process will be awarded a CUPA ‘Kite Mark’.
M365 Working Group (Next meeting to be confirmed) – This group gives the MOD, industry and Microsoft opportunities to debate how to securely and effectively implement Microsoft365 so that the MOD and its defence partners can collaborate.
CMMC Working Group (Next meeting to be confirmed) – This group consists of the MOD, industry and representation from The CMMC Center of Excellence. CMMC stands for Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification. The purpose of the group is to identify issues and suggest solutions so that companies can meet and maintain compliance with the new United States DoD Supply Chain Certification requirements.To join any of these groups or for more information, please email Andy Corbett.
Team Defence Information Multi-Domain Integration Working Group (TD-Info MDI WG)
Phase 3 Sub-Group Context
During 2021 the TD-Info Multi-Domain Integration industry engagement reached successful completion of Embedding Integration Study (Phase 1) and Industry Sensemaking and Insights (Phase2), enabling Phase 3 of MDI Embedding Integration & Design Authority (EI&DA) work.
Phase 3 is led by an overarching core group supplemented by four TD-Info MDI WG subgroups, identified below, with context views of group size, leadership, and scope of work for 2022, as follows:
The MDI Core Group:
Through the WG Leadership of Steve Hyde (MOD Co-Chair), Steve Worsnip (Lead TD-Info Facilitator), Steph McMenamin (Industry Co-Chair) and Paul Eastwood (Industry Co-Chair) the WG sets the strategic direction plus core activities which address overarching areas of interest. In addition, an Expert Network Disruptor (END) Group of the most supportive, positively disruptive, and active participants is established and involved on key condense, consolidate and codify activities for the sub-group.
The following overarching activities are planned for quarters 1 and 2 of 2022:
- EI&DA Phase 1 & 2 Consolidation Play Back and Phase 3 Launch – Held 10 February 22
- Red Teaming the Digitise the Battlespace Enterprise Architecting Proposition – giving an Industry perspective – scheduled week commencing 7th March 2022
- Multi Domain Integration – A session with the MDICP Programme Director – Major General Robin Anderton-Brown – TBC
- Exploring and getting under the skin of the MOD MDI Vignette – planned for late March 22
- Why is MDI progress ‘woolly’ – what’s not clear and uniformly understood? Targeted for April 22
- Heat mapping EI&DA and MDI – Targeted April 22
- Software Defined & Digitally Engineered MDI Symposium/Workshop – Exploring May / June 22
- TD-Info MDI WG MDI Symposium – Exploring May June 22
These are the four subgroups.
o Stakeholders & Rich Picture: currently with 23 volunteers and a focus on driving targeted MDI awareness, plus ensuring that government and industry have an aligned understanding, and a collective functional focus on what needs to change and how quick wins can drive momentum.
- Enterprise 4.0: currently with 23 volunteers and a focus on exploiting the information age for defence and understanding through exemplars the drivers and levers that affect enterprise change and the relationship between government, industry, and innovators.
- Enabling MDI Design: currently with 30 volunteers and a focus of MDI by design through operator focus and the exploitation of an Enterprise Architecture and the complimentary use of testing, experimentation, modelling & simulation, verification & validation on brownfield and greenfield projects.
- Inform & Educate: currently with 30 volunteers and a focus on exploiting extant information to help different stakeholders to communicate with a common language and conceptual understanding.
ASD-STE100 Simplified Technical English (STE) online course 09:00-12:30 21, 22, 23, 24 March 2022 on MS Teams with Ciaran Dodd, ASD-approved STE trainer. To find out more, contact Ciaran Dodd. 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 will also attend the next STEMG meeting at Airbus in Seville, Spain later this month. To find out more, contact Ciaran Dodd.
SW Regional Defence & Security Cluster (SWRDSC) News – The SWRDSC team are excited to say that SWRDSC has been celebrated and recognised in the following publications from government in the start of 2022:
The MOD Opportunity & Innovation: The Defence Small and Medium-sized Enterprise (SME) Action Plan (2022). Read the paper here to see how the SWRDSC has been recognised in its support of SMEs.
The SWRDSC has also been celebrated for its success in the recent Levelling Up the United Kingdom White paper, with the success paving the way for more Defence and Security Clusters to be launched around the UK.
SWRDSC has the following events coming up:
- SRWDSC Update to Members with RINA – 2 March 2022 | Online – Join this month’s update on all cluster news, including, membership status, new members, events and opportunities and featuring RINA.
- SWRDSC at the BattleLab, Dorset – 31 March 2022 | In-person – Our first in-person SWRDSC event since we met together at DSEi will be a great opportunity for all members to discover the capabilities and talents we have across the region.
- SWRDSC & Marine-I – 30th March 2022 | Hybrid Event – The cluster welcomes this opportunity to hear more and engage with the team at Marine-i. A project that is working with marine technology businesses in Cornwall, to help them grow. This event will be held at the University of Exeter’s Penryn Campus and will aim to be both an in person and virtual event.
Consider a membership with us today, to join and participate in events like these:
SWRDSC Membership Application
For Team Defence Information employees please contact us using the email below for event registration details.
Babcock International, the aerospace, defence and security company, has recently opened a new state of-the-art Additive Manufacturing centre as part of a new partnership with Plymouth Science Park (PSP). The facility will allow Babcock to ramp up its advanced technology capabilities to address critical needs across the engineering and defence support industry and will include the development of a digital and data skills programme in collaboration with PSP. It will also enable the company to direct print metal parts for the first time as it needs them, increasing efficiency and sustainability. The centre was launched at an industry event and was attended by other technology collaborators including Kingsbury, Renishaw, AMFG and GOM. Local MP, Johnny Mercer was invited to view the facility and switched on the first printing machine.
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.
On the 21 February 2022, the MOD published latest Defence Equipment Plan 2021, which you can access here.
On the 22 February 2022, the government updated its Strategy for Defence Infrastructure. See the updates here.
Defence Digital have released the first episode of their brand new vodcast
Episode 1: https://youtu.be/Tambi3p1O8s
In the first episode, Chief Information Officer Charlie Forte is joined by Director of Strategy and Military Digitisation, Major General Tom Copinger-Symes. They discuss how digital and the use of data has transformed the world of Defence and warfare with the rise of the ‘grey zone’, and how software is now just as important as hardware when determining our ability to compete.
On 14 February, the government announced a new chief executive at Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl): “Dr Paul Hollinshead OBE today takes the reins of Dstl, the science inside UK defence and security.”