MoD launches £6m fund to improve data use in defence decision-making
The Ministry of Defence has launched a competition for small businesses to develop new ways of using data to improve decision-making as part of efforts to increase its data analytics abilities.
Increasing amounts of defence data requires greater data analytics capabilities - Photo credit: Fotolia
The competition, which is part of the government’s Small Business Research Initiative, which aims to help smaller businesses work with government and encourage innovation in public sector work.
The department said its growing use of sensors was generating increasingly large volumes of complex data, and that it needed to boost its ability to quickly analyse that data so it can make “informed and effective” decisions.
The competition focuses on three strands: rapid and automated integration of sensors; the use of machine learning and artificial intelligence to free up personnel; and effective use of operator cognitive capacity by human-machine teaming.
The MoD is offering £3m to invest in new ideas for these technologies, processes and ways of operating, with the successful projects able to compete for a further £3m available to develop the best ideas.
The winners will also be split into fast-track projects – which aim to achieve a greater pace – and standard track projects. The fast-track projects in phase one can apply for up to £150,000 over three months, while standard track can apply for £100,000 for six months.
The move is part of wider efforts in the department to make better use of data, and comes as the government as a whole is increasing its focus on both data analytics and the potential of machine-learning and artificial intelligence to help government decision-making.
Briefing events will be held on 23 and 27 February and the closing date for applications is 21 March.
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