Initiative to bring future-tech to the Armed Forces
Surveillance drones inspired by dragonflies, laser weapons, mobile robots that can inspect incidents involving chemical materials, sensors that use gravity to survey underground structures in minutes, and virtual reality helmets to practice calling in simulated air strikes.
These are the types of futuristic technology that along with other smart solutions backed by the government’s new defence innovation initiative - which officially launched in September. Lancashire businesses are being encouraged to get involved with the programme as the MoD is aiming to ensure open innovation and embrace ideas from all sources and sectors. The plan will transform how defence deals with the challenges of tomorrow, to gain critical advantage for our defence and security forces:
An Innovation and Research Insights Unit (IRIS) will anticipate emerging trends in technology and analyse the implications for UK Defence and Security, informing critical decisions to maintain our military advantage and protect the UK.
The best and brightest individuals and companies will be invited to pitch to a dragon’s den style panel, backed by a fund of around £800m over 10 years. It will involve taking more risks in backing ideas, with a fast-track for truly novel ideas to match the pace of smaller firms.
Once strategy and investment decisions have been taken, a dedicated hub will act as a ‘defence and security accelerator’, ensuring that innovative solutions to our most pressing national security challenges are developed at pace to stay ahead of our adversaries.
Aimed at transforming the Ministry of Defence’s creative culture, the Innovation Initiative will fundamentally change the way defence does business. The initiative will challenge government to collaborate better with industry, academia and allies, and target new providers to boost the competitive advantage of UK defence and find answers to our most pressing national security questions from across sectors at pace.
A challenge function, drawing on external innovation talent and expertise, will ensure the MOD employs the best commercial practices and maintains its focus on innovation.
Refreshed Boost Access to Finance service brings in two new advisers
Lancashire’s Boost Access to Finance service has recruited two new advisers as part of a new-look support programme designed to help ambitious Lancashire businesses secure finance to achieve their growth ambitions.