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Defence Minister recognises transformative innovation

Minister for Defence Procurement Harriett Baldwin recognises innovative MOD teams transforming defence and saving billions for the taxpayer

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The 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) identified innovation – generating ideas and putting them into practice to overcome challenges and exploit opportunities – as a vital element in developing the UK’s economic strength, productivity and competitiveness. Innovation and our exploitation of science and technology are vital to our national security. They underpin the equipment, capabilities and skills that give us an advantage.

Now in its fourteenth year, the Minister for Defence Procurement Acquisition Awards recognises teams for their exceptional performance, innovation, effort and commitment. Minister Harriett Baldwin presented the Awards at a ceremony held at the Ministry of Defence in Whitehall on Tuesday 15 November. Eight teams were rewarded for their outstanding achievements and the ‘Innovation of the year’ award was presented for the first time.

Congratulating the teams Defence Minister Harriet Baldwin said:

It’s a pleasure to be here today to reflect on the success stories of Defence Procurement and Support. It’s always a privilege to meet those who work day in, day out to ensure our Armed Forces get the world-class kit they deserve, when they need it.

Saving Money

This year’s Special Award was presented to a Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S) team who transformed the way the Department operates, identifying a £27.8billion (31%) reduction in the overall Defence inventory, and a £2.5 billion (50%) reduction in raw materials and consumables. These efficiencies will be re-invested to support the MOD’s £178 billion Equipment Program.

Chief of Materiel (Land) DE&S General Paul Jaques said:

Over the course of three years the team has achieved a fundamental reduction in the size of the inventory, improving practices within DE&S resulting in £2.5 billion worth of savings to taxpayers.

This award recognises this significant achievement and the efforts of all those involved. I am incredibly proud of them.

Saving Lives

This year the brand new ‘Innovation of the Year’ Award was won by the 1710 Naval Air Squadron Corrosion Control & Husbandry Section for their work on Ebola decontamination and contribution to the global understanding of biological security.

The team questioned the recommended Ebola Virus Decontamination measures for aircraft, commissioning testing of a number of disinfectants at Dstl Porton Down. The tests identified that all but the most damaging disinfectant were inadequate at destroying the virus and proved significant risks to the aircraft structure, but that the commonly used aircraft cleaning solution was the most effective at destroying the virus while carrying no risk to the aircraft.

Among the other teams recognised were a group who delivered critical Military Satellite Communications research. The teams’ achievement will allow UK MOD to have spaced based communications capability for around 15 years without the constant need for physical upgrades. Defence Science and Technology Lab (Dstl).

Published 21 November 2016