Press release: Winners of £2 million autonomy and big data funding announced

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The Ministry of Defence (MOD) has selected the second round of winners of the Defence Growth Partnership (DGP) Innovation Challenge, including 16 contracts with small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

In the largest ever Centre for Defence Enterprise-run funding competition, 24 projects have been selected that aim to address the challenges associated with using autonomy and big data in defence.

These are the second round of winners from the Defence Growth Partnership (DGP) Innovation Challenge, valued at £2 million for the initial phase of work.

Speaking at the UK Defence Solutions Centre (UKDSC) in Farnborough, Defence Minister Philip Dunne said:


It is a real privilege to be here today, and to have a chance to meet the second group of Innovation Challenge winners.


I’m particularly pleased to see so many of the winners from small and medium enterprises; their innovation is something that Defence is committed to harnessing and growing, in order to ensure that these bright sparks really fire up Defence capability for both our Armed Forces and our export customers around the world.

Among the successful bidders is Hampshire-based SME Polaris Consulting Ltd, which is being awarded 3 contracts for its proposals on maritime navigation, intelligence data, and route optimisation.

The £10 million Innovation Challenge was launched in March 2015 with the aim of encouraging the development of innovative defence products. It’s funded by MOD and delivered through the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory’s (Dstl) Centre for Defence Enterprise (CDE) in partnership with the DGP’s UKDSC and is fully compliant with the Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI).

The winners of the first round of these competitions were announced in September 2015. The projects on training and persistent surveillance are progressing well, with collaborative links forming to help take them successfully through to the next phase of development this year.

Steve Brittan, Chief Executive Officer at UKDSC, said:


We were delighted to host Philip Dunne at the UKDSC today and to be able to announce the latest winners for this Innovation Challenge. We have been thrilled with the quantity and the quality of the submissions and it was great to have the opportunity to show Philip the exciting innovative solutions that the UK Value Chain is producing.

Full list of winners:

Organisation Proposal title
Atlas ElektroniK UK Limited Topological data analysis for robust autonomous situational awareness
Autonomous Devices Limited A real-time interactive query language for extracting intelligence from big data
BMT Defence Services Validating sources of big data - Learning to trust the crowd
Chemring Technology Solutions Reducing the workload of an Intelligence Analyst by automatically determining confidence in intelligence from the provenance of underlying data
CountingLab Ltd Trustworthiness of information from big data sets: An autonomous approach based on the analysis of the messages’ metadata, linguistic and spread through social networks
Createc Live Maps: Air
Cubica Technology Ltd Automatic verification and fusion of open-source intelligence for regional situational awareness
Exa Informatics Knowledge based autonomous big data validation
HORIBA MIRA Real time UGV localisation using geo-referencing derived from deep learning applied to disparate data sets
Mass Consultants Ltd TimeSets: Timeline visualisation for provenance-based big data sensemaking
Massive Analytic Limited Artificial precognition and decision-making support for persistent surveillance-based tactical support
Oxbotica Ltd Experience based localisation - feasibility study
Polaris Consulting Ltd A risk based meta heuristic model for real time route optimisation in autonomous surface vehicles
Polaris Consulting Ltd Maritime autonomous navigation and mission effectiveness in GPS limited environments
Polaris Consulting Ltd Applying a dominant rough set approach to improve intelligence data and processing and enhance situational awareness
Qinetiq Extracting visual navigation data from open source imagery
Selex ES Linguistic summarisation of data to reduce data deluge
SimCentric Limited VSALT: visual search and autonomous linkage tool
Stormcharge Ltd Command and control of land and airborne autonomous vehicle groups in changing environment
Swarm Systems Ltd Fusion and synthetic environment for autonomous systems (FUSE)
The University of Sheffield Hypothesis generation and visualisation from big data
The University of Sheffield Bloom Filters for localised intelligence
TRW Limited Dynamic generation of 3D perspective using array of descending cameras
Vectis Environmental Consulting Team LLP Position acquisition through statistical environmental recognition (PASER)
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