The DE&S Future Capabilities Group (FCG) works with industry to explore and de-risk new capabilities against Front-Line Command needs.

This is both to inform future decision making, but also to de-risk the new technologies against people and process challenges, as well as to mature requirements against the CADMID cycle for a more sustained future BAU acquisition of capability at scale.

Approximately MOD 100 FTEs work across a number of constantly changing topic areas from Robotics to Digital Advantage systems.

This recently involves competitions to buy-and-try equipment in user focused trials (e.g. Nano-UAS, UGVs), but can also  include elements of mid-to-high TRL funded development as well. Increasingly the team are working ‘Agile by Default’ in ethos, and are shifting towards more iterative acquisitions which  see technology into the hands of the users early, for operational use. In short DE&S FCG is not about low TRL development or science projects, it is about more rapidly progressing capability into exploitation for operational advantage.

The FCG will brief Stakeholders on:

  • The  FCG, who and what it is, and longer-term emerging scope areas following the Integrated Review and Defence Command Paper
  • FCGs current funded pipeline of work
  • Futures Lab (Niteworks replacement).
    • This is a pre-concept framework to allow industry and academia to explore concepts, possibly into mid TRL level concept demonstrators.
  • The DE&S Strategy 2025, and the creation of new Centres of Expertise.
    • This is to help further focus DE&S and the wider defence innovation ecosystem, against the capability areas identified in the Defence Command paper. This part of the briefing will be an introduction to the concept, the first CoEs, and an ask for views (via TechUK) on what CoEs others think that DE&S (funded by the FLCs) should be creating for the MOD and the wider prosperity agenda. It is also an opportunity for non-MOD stakeholders to suggest ideas of how the goals could best be achieved.