MOD Artificial Intelligence Hackathon

  • Tuesday28Nov 2017

    ** This is a past event **

    On 28 - 29 November 2017 the Ministry of Defence, working with techUK, will be hosting an Artificial Intelligence (AI) Hackathon focused on enabling decision making.


On 28 November 2017 (09:00 - 21:00) & 29 November 2017 (08:00 - 17:00) the Ministry of Defence, working with techUK, will be hosting an Artificial Intelligence (AI) Hackathon focused on enabling decision making. The hackathon will be delivered in partnership with the Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA). The judging panel at the hackathon will evaluate proposals against DASA's assessment criteria (available at this link). Winner(s) will be invited to submit a follow-up proposal to access funding via the DASA Open Call for Innovation (link)*.

The event is a fusion of defence, industry and academia, working in a time-pressured environment, testing AI theories and problem-solving capabilities against common defence management / information support, training and future workforce challenges. These challenges could range from exploiting Health and Usage Monitoring System (HUMS) Data to help prevent future catastrophic failure on helicopter platforms, to bringing data sets from public bodies together to determine the location of veterans and ex-personnel by Local Authority District to ensure they are receiving the assistance they are entitled to.

The Brief

The Hackathon will explore how AI could enable better decision-making and meet defence objectives more efficiently, focussing specifically on systems, support, training and future workforce areas.

Teams will explore the application of AI, (ranging from robotic process automation, neural networks, machine learning, deep learning and everything in between) on specific use cases provided by areas across defence looking for innovative solutions. For a day and a half, the teams will immerse themselves in the problem space, possible solutions, and aim to produce a brief concept demonstrator of value to defence to a panel of judges comprised of experts from across the TLB’s on day 2. Awards and potential funding routes will be available for the top entries.

For industry, this event provides a great opportunity for you to showcase your skills and bring awareness of existing products to representatives from across the MOD who are eager to address tangible problems. In addition to presenting a great networking and learning opportunity, if the judges see the potential in your ideas, you will be invited to submit a proposal which could lead to securing funding to develop your idea further.

Applications are open to individuals only or for teams of up to three per company. To submit an application please download the form from below and send it back to Seema Patel ( on or before 7th November 2017.

Date – 28 November 2017 (09:00 - 21:00) & 29 November 2017 (08:00 - 17:00)
Location – Geovation, Urban Innovation Centre 1 Sekforde Street, Clerkenwell Green, London, EC1R 0BE 1
Duration – 1.5 days (early till late)
Organising Team – ISS Innovation in partnership with the Defence and Security Accelerator.

Formal agenda to be released soon.

*Crown Servants are encouraged to apply and can join /participate with teams from industry on the day, however, any proposed solutions that subsequently proceed to application for potential funding through the DASA Open Call cannot be submitted by a government employee - DASA T&Cs (link).


Q. Is there any restrictions on nationality of resources able to take part in this event? Is any form of UK security clearance required to support this?
A. The event is open to all as none of the data or information that will be released is sensitive in nature.

Q. Can you confirm that team sizes are restricted to 3 people maximum?
A. We have requested that teams are kept to a maximum of 3 as the venue has limited capacity so we are trying to make it as accessible as we can across industry. Teams will be encouraged, but not obliged to collaborate and partner with other Hackathon attendees to form larger teams on the day itself after having had the opportunity to hear about other approaches and solutions to the problem sets.

Q. We are considering a collaborative team , made up our parent and potentially a representative from one of our clients who has a particular domain expertise - Is that type of team mix OK?
A. We welcome a mixed team spreading across your company and client expertise to maximise the likelihood of achieving a pertinent and viable solution to Defence’s problems.

Q. It seems like from the brief, application forms must be received by COP 7th November to be assessed and down-selected.
A. This is correct. Applicants will be down-selected and notified of the outcomes of the down-select on or before 8 - 9 November 2017.

Q. It would be good to get an indication of planned use cases to help form the right team.
A. We are still in the process of finalising use cases, however the below gives a brief overview of potential candidates:
1) Defence supply chain real time analysis, managing global requests from different sources to provide a real time view of the supply chain status
2) Using Open Source global imagery and geo data to support Defence Intel to understand terrain and operational demands in new and foreign environments
3) Building on existing data visualisation tools such as power BI to understand the smart questions our resource planning and senior managers should be asking
4) Cleansing and drafting of contracts to support our legal services teams and to avoid human error
This is not a definitive list as we are working up other use cases and there is not guarantee that all of these use cases will be taken forward.

Application Form for AI Hackathon (docx)

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