The Strategic Defence and Security Review (2015) introduced that Defence needed a new approach to innovation to keep the UK safe. In 2016, the Secretary of State for Defence launched the Defence Innovation Initiative, ‘Advantage through innovation: the Defence Innovation Initiative prospectus’ to maintain the UK’s military edge into the future with new structures and with funding of around £800 million to back this commitment.
A key part of this new approach was the formation of the Defence Innovation Advisory Panel. The Panel provides independent and expert challenge and seeks to interrogate MOD’s current innovation ecosystem to ensure that the Department is driving the right change at the necessary pace. To support this challenge function, the Panel were asked to provide an annual report to the Secretary of State for Defence on their findings.
The Department thanks the Panel members for their insightful and vital contribution to Defence innovation over the last year and welcomes this first report and its recommendations.
The Panel Report sets out that Defence is making some progress towards becoming more innovative and responsive. The Report identifies four themes (Priorities & Exploitation, Acquisition & Processes, Data & Information Systems, and People & Culture). Each themed section includes a summary of the main points, a set of observations reflecting the Panel’s engagement with Defence, their external experience and several key recommendations. The Report represents the first holistic review of the progress made since the launch of the Defence Innovation Initiative and highlights the challenges that Defence faces.
The Department’s response to the Panel’s findings includes commitments to act, improve and to continue working with the Panel to support Defence’s progress and in the implementation and delivery of change.
Defence is determined to make the changes needed to ensure that the Department can harness the power of innovation and maintain the UK’s military edge into the future.