News story

Innovative uses of data for defence staff: apply for funding

Organisations can apply for a share of £6 million to investigate new ways of using data to improve decision-making in defence.

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) has up to £3 million to invest in innovative new technologies, processes and ways of operating that improve the ability of defence staff to analyse and exploit data in decision-making.

A further £3 million could be invested to develop the best ideas in a second phase of the competition.

The MOD is seeking solutions in 3 challenge areas:

  • rapid and automated integration of new sensors
  • freeing up personnel by the innovative use of machine learning algorithms and artificial intelligence for military advantage
  • effective use of operator cognitive capacity, particularly by human-machine teaming

The MoD is making more and more use of sensors. This means there is an increasingly large volume of complex data available to military operators and decision-makers.

It needs to increase its ability to analyse data and quickly use it to make informed and effective decisions.

This funding competition is part of SBRI (the Small Business Research Initiative). A first phase seeks initial ideas. Winners of phase 1 funding will compete in a second phase to develop the idea further.

The competition will also see projects split between a fast track and standard track approach. The aim is to achieve greater pace but also to allow smaller companies and low maturity solutions to take part.

Competition information

  • the competition is open, and the deadline for phase 1 proposals is midday on 21 March 2017
  • SBRI is open to any organisation, and projects will attract 100% funded development contracts
  • phase 1 fast track projects could attract up to £150,000 and are expected to last up to 3 months
  • phase 1 standard track projects could attract up to £100,000 and are expected to last up to 6 months
  • briefing events for potential applicants will be held on 23 February 2017 and 27 February 2017