news & Things

New Unit Launched As Part of MoD’s Ongoing Data Reform

15th Nov 2021

DASA launches a new unit to discover Emerging Innovations and Rapid Impact technologies within the MoD.

There’s an information reform going on in the UK military, in which it aims to use data and technology to provide an advantage to UK defence forces.

Which is why it’s exciting that the UK Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) has launched a new unit named Military Systems Information Assurance (MSIA), as part of its new Innovation Focus Area (IFA).

This follows the publication of the government’s integrated review of security, defence, development and foreign policy in March – and will be funded under such. Highlighted within the policy was the need for resilience, and the heightened capability of tackling cyber threats.

The new unit will cover a number of duties under the proposal; from accounting for distinct and hostile demands placed on military information systems, to seeking approaches and technologies that may be an alternative to cryptology, the most common way of ensuring the safety of information.

The different ways this can be assured include novel methods of authentication and the different ways you can store information securely in a cloud environment and at rest.

The unit will also have to seek solutions to ensure that information is not interrupted by wobbly bandwidth and intermittent communications.

Funding for the MSIA will be based on technical readiness level (TRL).

Lower-level proposals will be considered an Emerging Innovation. A proof of concept will be asked to be provided within a six-month contract and can secure funding up to £150,000, on DASA’s advice.

Higher-level TRL proposals will be considered as a Rapid Impact. Within a 12th month contract, a concept demonstrator will be required, and a bid could win up to £350,000 in funding.

Submission for applications will close on the 5th of January 2022.

This announcement by DASA follows the launch of another IFA in August which aimed to reduce the MoD’s systems exposure to cyber-attacks.

The technologies aimed to be developed included a programmed in which the MoD paid bounties to white hat hackers for discovering security bugs in its computer networks, to raise security across its networks and devices.


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