New virtual cyber school gives teens chance to try out as cyber security agents from home

Thousands of young people are being offered the chance to join a virtual cyber security school as part of plans to make sure the country develops the next generation of professional cyber defenders.

At a time when schools remain closed to most children, the online initiative aims to inspire future talent to work in the cyber security sector and give students a variety of extracurricular activities to do from the safety of their homes.

Teens can learn how to crack codes, fix security flaws and dissect criminals’ digital trails while progressing through the game as a cyber agent. This will help them develop important skills needed for future jobs, particularly in cyber security.

The school provides free weekly webinars run by industry experts teaching fundamental security disciplines such as digital forensics, cryptography and operating systems.

Digital Infrastructure Minister Matt Warman said: “This new initiative will give teenagers something fun and educational to do from home and provide them with a glimpse into the life of a cyber security professional.

“We have a world-leading cyber sector which plays a crucial role protecting the country and our digital economy, so it is absolutely vital we continue to inspire the next generation of tech talent to help maintain the UK’s strong position.”

The move comes as the government announces a number of other online training courses to give UK school pupils the opportunity to learn and develop cyber security skills, this includes the launch of the National Cyber Security Centre’s (NCSC) hugely popular CyberFirst summer courses. The courses are moving online this year to help more than a thousand 14 to 17-year-olds develop important cyber skills from home during the coronavirus pandemic.

NCSC Chief Executive Officer Ciaran Martin said: “Technology is helping us all cope with the coronavirus crisis and is playing an essential role in keeping our businesses moving and our society connected.

“It has never been more important for our young people to keep engaged and learn how to protect our digital world – and I’m delighted to see our instructor led CyberFirst summer courses made available online.”

Enrolled students will learn how to code and carry out cybersecurity operations in an instructor-led virtual classroom to help guide the students through the programme and build a sense of camaraderie within each cohort.

The National Crime Agency and Cyber Security Challenge UK will also shortly announce teenagers can access their online cyber skills platform CyberLand for free during the coming months. In the game designed to teach teenagers the fundamentals of cyber security, players protect the virtual city ‘CyberLand’ from cyber attacks while learning key skills.

Deputy Director at the NCA’s National Cyber Crime Unit Jim Stokley said: “Many young people have a keen interest in technology and have developed impressive cyber skills.

“The virtual cyber school and CyberFirst programmes are great initiatives which will support this next generation of cyber defenders in realising their potential.

“We’ve also partnered with Cyber Security Challenge UK to offer free access to their online platform Cyberland where young people will find games that encourage them to improve cyber skills safely and legally.”

Computer science teacher & EdTech evangelist Mark Martin said: “This is a great initiative to encourage young people to consider future careers in cyber security and see that they can have a tech job keeping people safe online.

“The virtual cyber school will help students learn valuable skills needed to work in the industry in a fun and entertaining way. I encourage teachers to share these programmes with their students as a productive activity to do in their spare time from home.”

Cyber Discovery provider SANS Chief Technology Officer James Lyne said: “Cyber security is a fascinating field packed with opportunities for innovation and to make the online world more secure. It spans every part of society and has a huge role in our future security and technology prospects as a nation.

“This is your chance to learn how to ‘forensicate’ like a digital Sherlock Holmes, close down vulnerabilities before the hackers find them, and break codes.

“Teachers, parents, students – get online and take advantage of this wonderful opportunity amidst the unique and challenging situation our country faces right now.”

CyberFirst provider QA Chairman Sir Charlie Mayfield said: “These initiatives from NCSC and DCMS are set to deliver a great summer of learning for young people across the UK. There is a shortage of digital skills in the UK and the CyberFirst programmes tackle this issue head on – and have the added benefit of keeping young minds active at this difficult time.

“The road to the UK’s economic recovery from this pandemic will be built on the skills we learn at this time. That’s why it was critical that initiatives like CyberFirst were pivoted to virtual delivery, so they could go ahead as planned. We are proud to partner with the NCSC to deliver these fully virtual training programmes.”

To learn more about cyber security and how your business can stay protected from threats, visit the Cyber Essentials Online website.

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Cyber Awareness Week: UK’s biggest firms still lacking cyber awareness

A new government report has suggested that boards at some of the UK’s biggest companies still don’t fully understand the potential impact of a cyber attack.

The Government’s Cyber Governance Health Check examines the approach to cyber security of the UK’s FTSE 350 companies.

The 2018 report published this week reveals that less than a fifth (16%) of boards have a comprehensive understanding of the impact of loss or disruption associated with cyber threats. That’s despite almost all (96%) having a cyber security strategy in place.

Additionally, although the majority of businesses (95%) do have a cyber security incident response plan, only around half (57%) actually test them on a regular basis.

Awareness of the threat of cyber attacks has increased. Almost three quarters (72%) of respondents acknowledge the risk of cyber threats is high, which is a big improvement of only just over half (54%) in 2017.

The implementation of the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) in 2018 has had a positive effect in increasing the attention that boards are giving cyber threats. Over three quarters (77%) of those responding to last years health check said that board discussion and management of cybersecurity had increased since GDPR. As a result over half of those businesses had also put in place increased security measures.

Digital Minister Margot James said: “The UK is home to world leading businesses but the threat of cyber attacks is never far away. We know that companies are well aware of the risks, but more needs to be done by boards to make sure that they don’t fall victim to a cyber attack.

“This report shows that we still have a long way to go but I am also encouraged to see that some improvements are being made. Cyber security should never be an add-on for businesses and I would urge all executives to work with the National Cyber Security Centre and take up the government’s advice and training that’s available.”

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Cyber Awareness Week: Why enterprise has a crucial role to play in cyber warfare

In the fourth in our special features marking Cyber Awareness Week, David Atkinson, CEO of cyber security start-up Senseon, discusses how private companies can play a significant role in collaborating with the Government to seek solutions to combat cyber warfare.

The lack of rules and norms in cyber warfare is a well-documented problem. What is slightly less discussed, however, is how and why nation states target foreign enterprise. With vast swathes of cyber activity in this arena of doubtful legality, and even of doubtful morality, it looks increasingly likely that the lack of rules and norms could unintentionally lead to a real-world escalation in tensions, perhaps resulting in conflict.

When cyber attacks of sometimes unclear origin target privately owned businesses, the question of attribution has real impact on the appropriate response. These issues must be discussed, as only through discussion will we move closer to solutions.

Before the Information Age, if you wanted access to a company’s internal information you had to have someone on the inside who could help. This could be difficult, costly and, if the person was caught, result in severe diplomatic and international repercussions. However, with an increasing level of company information stored online, physical access is no longer necessary. By infiltrating a company’s network you can, with relative ease, siphon off data to elsewhere. Attribution is difficult, assuming you can even detect an attack has taken place. You can’t just catch the person in the act and question them.

This difficulty of attribution has opened corporate theft to many actors who otherwise, fearing among other things the consequences of being caught, might have refrained from participation. Nation states now have the opportunity to engage in a new kind of cyber warfare, one that is even more poorly defined than conventional cyber attacks against infrastructure and the military. Recent events have thrown this new form of cyber warfare into the limelight. Russia’s military intelligence arm, the GRU, was caught trying to hack into both the World Anti–Doping Agency and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, which were independently investigating allegations of wrongdoing by the Russian state. China, too, has been accused by the United States of engaging in IP theft on behalf of Chinese enterprise.

Such nation state espionage and theft on enterprise is often done by Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) groups. APTs specialise in highly sophisticated cyber attacks, and are often well funded and highly trained. They are either government groups or so-called patriotic hackers, who arise organically and then later fall under informal government auspices. APTs target just a few individuals either at the company in question or at a company within the supply chain. They will research these individuals and use that information to launch a targeted attack. This type of attack, known as spear phishing, is just one example of many, but serves to illustrate the ingenuity and innovation associated with APTs.

There is no consensus over either the legality or the morality of this new form of cyber warfare. Where state and enterprise interests overlap, or where enterprise is merely an arm of the state, the issue becomes more complicated. In such a country, the state could exercise its cyber capabilities on behalf of enterprise, or may even believe that such activity is a crucial part of national security, both for strengthening the economy and for aligning the balance of power. It is almost inconceivable to imagine western intelligence handing stolen foreign IP to western companies, yet many argue that elsewhere this is exactly what governments do.

The current US-China trade war is a good example of how these issues may play out. President Trump argues that China engages in widespread IP theft from American companies. He alleges that, since there are such close ties between the Communist Party of China (CPC) and many leading Chinese companies, the CPC is passing them stolen American IP. This presents a strategic advantage, as Chinese companies benefit from IP gained without investing in R&D, readdressing the balance of power in their favour. The President’s trade war is his attempt to tilt this balance back towards America by combating nation–state–on–corporate cyber attacks. Tit-for-tat actions, such as stealing Chinese IP and giving it to American companies, are inconceivable options. Aside from the issue of to whom would the stolen IP be given, such action would also risk raising hostilities. It is partly as a result of this consideration that the trade war has arisen.

This risk of hostilities reminds us how it is unclear at what point a nation state hack of foreign enterprise becomes an act of war. Without clear rules and norms, a misunderstanding could result in a rapid increase in tension, leading to unwanted conflict. Clear government-sanctioned attacks might meet far more robust responses than those by patriotic hackers, the responsibility for whose actions is more ambiguously attributed. At the same time, merely individual criminal hacks could be misinterpreted as nation state sanctioned operations, with all the diplomatic fallout that would entail. An unintentional escalation of hostilities resulting in war is somewhat unwelcome.

Nation states should keep pushing to introduce clear codes of conduct. With a lack of unity rendering a global agreement unlikely, perhaps individual countries should state their professed cyber norms regardless of international consensus. In this way, we may at least increase trust and understanding in cyberspace. Furthermore, conversation between nation states and enterprise should be encouraged. Innovations such as GCHQ’s creation of the National Cyber Security Centre have done and will continue to do good work to promote security in the UK; and with the cradle of innovation steadily moving from government to enterprise, private sector technologies will increasingly be a help to government in cyber warfare.

We can’t fix these problems overnight, but by shoring up our defences and saying clearly what we think, while promoting nation-state-enterprise dialogue, we can make the world a slightly safer place.

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Cyber Awareness Week: How military bodies can protect themselves

In the third in our special features marking Cyber Awareness Week, Stephen Tsirtsonis, Director of Defence EMEA at Endaceexamines the potential cyber dangers facing military bodies and the challenges in maintaining an agile defence against cyber threats.

When a nation is posturing on a global scale, there are many ways in which it could damage a foe, or gain prestige with an ally, through the sharing of intelligence. In the cyber world, targets are many and varied; from critical national infrastructure, to central government, to a nation’s corporations.

When looking at high–profile targets you have to consider the military who are faced with securing a multifaceted, global infrastructure encompassing land, sea, air and space.

Considering the challenges of military information security

The nature of the military means that it faces numerous challenges when it comes to protecting its information infrastructure. With a huge range of assets to protect, many extremely valuable targets under constant attack, and multiple parties responsible for constructing, maintaining and defending infrastructure, there is a lot to take into consideration. Many military bodies also use a mix of legacy and new information infrastructure, with multiple suppliers / system integrators adding to the complexity.

The issue is further exacerbated when you consider that this infrastructure is under constant attack by highly motivated nation states with significant resources, capability and expertise at their disposal.

Example – a naval destroyer 

A naval destroyer is a highly complex, high–profile, mobile target that another nation state’s cyber and intelligence services might constantly observe and seek to infiltrate. They might be able to obtain records of the crew, the crew’s families, off–ship contractors and their families, and a multitude of other information, as material that could be used to compromise the vessel and its staff.

This constant intelligence gathering and probing of targets over many years could help rogue nations identify a range of individuals susceptible to blackmail or compromise, either directly or via their families, or even their children’s schools, for example.

Any cyber capability, in this highly complex arena, needs to look for sophisticated threats across both the cyber and physical domains.


Facing the threats and becoming adaptable

It goes without saying that the military must keep pace with the latest threat intelligence while defending against constant attack by highly motivated and competent state-sponsored actors – but this is a tough challenge in the defence and security environment. The ideal solution would provide ubiquitous and dynamically adaptable protection – including surveillance, threat detection and countermeasures – across this diverse and extensive infrastructure.

Terms like adaptability, dynamism and responsiveness typically don’t fit well when operating at global scale. Trying to adapt a global deployment, including mobile assets, in line with the latest threat intelligence – while operating under ‘Secret’ classification – is not something to be undertaken lightly.

The conundrum is: how can military bodies protect themselves from cyber threats while remaining agile and having the ability to adapt as needed? And how can the military enable agile cyber defence when having such a highly distributed and complex infrastructure and such an extremely broad technology set to protect makes rapid change extremely difficult to achieve?


Adapting infrastructures

The biggest challenge is that hardware is still frequently a key component of cyber security infrastructure, and one that is difficult and slow to deploy, particularly in a military environment. The implementation of this hardware is a slow and expensive process. It can take months or years to deploy a new solution to counter specific threats, especially given that any new capability needs to be implemented across such a wide variety of locations: headquarters, the battlespace, sandy places, cold places, even in mobile assets under an icepack.

Virtualising analytics functions gives organisations the ability to continually evolve at pace to keep up with new threats. By hosting ‘virtualised’ analytics functions on a common hardware platform, organisations can deploy new or upgraded analytics tools in hours and reap significant cost savings (both CAPEX and OPEX).

Capabilities that previously would have required deploying multiple hardware appliances can now be deployed in software onto a single, common hardware platform, resulting in substantial savings in hardware purchase costs, space requirements and management costs.

The challenge is making this capability adaptable enough to work across the entire domain – data centres, frontline operations and mobile assets – and for it to be able to adapt as required.

Our approach to solving this challenge is to enable customers to deploy a network-wide monitoring and recording fabric – a hardware layer that provides recording of network traffic and can also be used to host network security analytics applications from commercial vendors as well as open-source or custom applications. This common hardware layer can be overlaid with a range of solutions, such as IDS and AI, hosted directly on the same hardware, allowing multiple functions to be consolidated onto a single platform which can be remotely reconfigured as required.

Having a ubiquitous hardware platform that is capable of hosting a wide range of security solutions means that as soon as a new tool is approved to counter the latest threat it can be remotely deployed and activated globally. What would have taken months, or even years, can now be done in hours.

Laying the foundations for agile defence

Using this virtualised approach, military bodies gain the ability to deploy the latest threat detection capabilities quickly, on demand; to accurately detect, play back, analyse and counter attacks; and to dynamically adapt threat detection capabilities.

Building this agility and flexibility into their underlying security infrastructure enables military bodies to take a significant step forwards in addressing the conundrum of military cyber defence.

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Supply Chain Engagement at DPRTE 2019

DPRTE 2019 – the UK’s premier defence procurement event – is taking place at Farnborough International Exhibition & Conference Centre on 28th March 2019. The event gives the defence supply chain a unique opportunity to connect directly with prime contractors in its dedicated Supply Chain Engagement Zone.

As outlined within the National Security Strategy and Strategic Defence and Security Review 2015, The MOD are committed to enabling SMEs and non-traditional suppliers to bid for defence and security contracts more easily.

In the MOD report ‘Industry for Defence and a Prosperous Britain: Refreshing Defence Industrial Policy’, current Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson confirmed that the MOD would continue to spend with SMEs. The report states that the goal is to place 25% of direct and indirect defence procurement spend with SMEs by 2020.

One important element in order to achieve this, is through the MOD working with their Prime Contractors, in order to maximise opportunities for the marketplace place through transparency of supply chain competition.

The Supply Chain Engagement Transfer Zone at DPRTE 2019 brings together many of the key Prime Contractors that are currently engaged within the delivery of MOD projects, allowing visitors to book appointments for 1-2-1 meetings.

Understanding how prime contractors engage with the supply chain is vital to ensure your business can benefit from the MOD’s ambition.

The Supply Chain & Partnering Knowledge Transfer Zone will provide attendees with the chance to hear directly from prime contracting and supporting organisations such as Airbus, Boeing and DxC Technology as to how they can engage and actively pursue new business development opportunities across the wider supply chain.

Delegates can also visit the Supply Chain & Partnering Zone, which will see some of the Prime Contractors deliver sessions on supply chain opportunities available on current/future projects.

The zone will feature a highly anticipated session from the Crown Commercial Service in collaboration with the Defence Infrastructure Organisation.

Also appearing will be Defence Contracts International (DCI) Marketing Manager David Young, who will talk about ‘Accessing International Opportunities’; while Jon White, Sales Director Europe at GE Aviation, will discuss ‘Supply Chain Opportunities With GE Aviation’.

Ruth Todd, Commercial Director of the MOD’s Submarine Delivery Agency, will also deliver a session on supply chain management.

To discuss sponsorship or exhibition opportunities at DPRTE please contact the team today 0845 270 7066 or

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Get ready for DPRTE 2019 and join the defence discussion

Anticipation is building for DPRTE 2019 ahead of the UK’s premier defence procurement event of the year, taking place at Farnborough International Exhibition & Conference Centre on 28 March.

Defence Procurement, Research, Technology & Exportability (DPRTE) 2019 will bring together buyers, suppliers and defence thought leaders in an engaging environment where they can network and discuss the latest market developments and opportunities.

The Ministry of Defence, DE&S, Dstl, DASA and ISS are just some of the defence organisations that will be sharing their business opportunities and insights.

Attendees will have access to the DPRTE Product Showcase Exhibition (featuring over 100 suppliers), Live Keynote Arena, five Knowledge Transfer Zones and seven Networking and Collaboration Zones.

Live Keynote Arena

The DPRTE 2019 Live Keynote Arena will host a range of the leading and most influential speakers from across the defence procurement and supply chain marketplace.

Attendees will have an invaluable opportunity to hear directly from those personnel who are actively engaged in both setting and delivering the direction of the UK’s defence procurement and supply chain strategy.

Chairing the Live Keynote Arena again this year will be Commercial Strategies Ltd CEO and former Ministry of Defence Commercial Director Les Mosco.

Stuart Andrew MP, Minister for Defence Procurement; Jim Carter, Commercial Director, Supply Chain at the MOD; and Lucy Mason, Head of the Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA), will deliver keynote addresses alongside Professor Trevor Taylor, Professorial Research Fellow in Defence Management at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) and Tracy Buckingham, Head of Operations and Security Exports at the Department for International Trade’s Defence & Security Organisation (DIT DSO).

Ant Middleton, best known for his role as Chief Instructor on hit TV show ‘SAS: Who Dares Wins’, will bring proceedings to a close with a session on leadership and teambuilding.

Technology & Innovation Knowledge Transfer Zone

The Technology & Innovation Knowledge Transfer Zone will host a series of training sessions aimed at providing participants with an insight into the latest developments and opportunities within this area. These sessions will encourage a greater level of collaboration with industry, academia and allies, in order to target new providers to boost the competitive advantage of UK defence and find answers to the most pressing national security questions from across sectors.

Sessions will include Andrew Cunningham, Executive Director – Innovation at the UK Defence Solutions Centre (UKDSC), take on ‘Cross Sector Innovation From a Defence Perspective’.

Peter Marshall, Professional Services Director at Commerce Decisions, will give a session titled ‘There’s a Lot More to Evaluation Than Meets the Eye’. This will be followed by Phil Blunden, Communications Manager at the Defence Cyber Protection Partnership (DCPP), with ‘Defence Contracting – How Suppliers Are Required to Protect MOD Electronic Data’.

The zone will also host a session from Cyber Essentials Marketing Executive Megan McGinty on gaining a competitive advantage through Cyber Essentials.

Supply Chain & Partnering Knowledge Transfer Zone

The Supply Chain & Partnering Knowledge Transfer Zone will provide attendees with the chance to hear directly from prime contracting and supporting organisations such as Airbus, Boeing and DxC Technology as to how they can engage and actively pursue new business development opportunities across the wider supply chain.

In the MOD report ‘Industry for Defence and a Prosperous Britain: Refreshing Defence Industrial Policy’, current Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson confirmed that the MOD would continue to spend with SMEs. The report states that the goal is to place 25% of direct and indirect defence procurement spend with SMEs by 2020, compared with the 18.1% total in 2015/16.

Also appearing within the Supply Chain & Partnering zone at DPRTE 2019 will be Defence Contracts International (DCI) Marketing Manager David Young, who will talk about ‘Accessing International Opportunities’; the Crown Commercial Service and the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) will also collaborate to deliver a session while Jon White, Sales Director Europe at GE Aviation, will discuss ‘Supply Chain Opportunities With GE Aviation’.

Export & Business Growth Knowledge Transfer Zone

Supported by the Department for International Trade, the Export & Business Growth Knowledge Transfer Zone will provide exhibitors and visitors with specialist export advice and practical assistance, enabled through DIT’s Defence & Security Organisation and its close working relationship with the MOD and the Export Control Organisation (ECO).

Delegates have the opportunity to visit the DIT DSO stand to meet civilian and military advisers and to attend a number of seminar sessions aimed at the UK SME defence and security community.

The zone launches with Team Leader Small Business Unit at DIT DSO, Tim Clewes, presenting on ‘DIT DSO Support for SMEs’.

Training continues with sessions from other DIT DSO experts on areas such as ‘Military Support for Defence and Security Exports’, ‘DIT DSO Media Support and Opportunities’ and ‘Security Exports’.

Andrew Cunningham, Executive Director – Innovation at UKDSC, will round things off with a discussion on support for UK SMEs.

Buyer Excellence in Procurement Knowledge Transfer Zone

In addition to accessing a wealth of industry expertise, DPRTE attendees can also visit the Buyer Excellence in Procurement Knowledge Transfer Zone, where Principal PASS Consultant Eddie Regan will be leading on procurement best practice and advice, which defence buyers can utilise to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of their procurement exercises.

These sessions will cover topics such as ‘Developing Your Business Case’, ‘Planning Your Exit Strategy’, ‘Effective Evaluation’, ‘Managing Change in Your Contract’, ‘Market Engagement Benefits’, ‘Developing a Risk Strategy’ and ‘Commercial Awareness’.

Doing Business with the US DoD Zone

The US defence market is the largest in the world, with a proposed defence procurement budget of over $686 billion for the forthcoming financial year.

The United States Department of Defense’s (DoD) enduring mission is to provide combat-credible military forces needed to deter war and protect the security of the nation. Its National Defense Strategy acknowledges an increasingly complex global security environment, characterised by overt challenges to the free and open international order.

Representatives from the US DoD will be on hand to provide advice and guidance on how to access the wealth of opportunities available within the world’s largest defence procurement marketplace, through a range of training sessions and one-to-one meetings.

Defence Procurement Pavilion

The Defence Procurement Pavilion, one of DPRTE’s Networking and Collaboration Zones, will provide visitors with an unrivalled opportunity to engage directly with key defence procurement organisations such as DE&S, DIO, FLC Army/Air/Navy, the Submarine Delivery Agency, ISS and Doing Business with Defence.

For MOD and wider public sector personnel engaged within procurement, the Pavilion will bring together these key organisations, offering a unique networking opportunity.

In addition, the Pavilion offers the chance to share and explore the ideas and best practices that are actively supporting and developing current objectives and initiatives.

To be at the forefront of the discussions by attending, sponsoring or exhibiting at DPRTE 2019, book now at

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Counter Explosive Ordnance Defence Engagement (CEDE) Industry Briefing


Major General Giles Hill, ACDS DE, will host a CEDE Industry Briefing on 4 September 2018 at the Army Reserve Centre in White City, LONDON W12 7RW.


To inform Industry of the upcoming opportunity to tender for the provision of services to the Ministry of Defence to run a CEDE office. The office is to deliver increased capacity and coherence to overseas Counter Explosive Ordnance and C-IED Defence Engagement activity, to actively promote UK Defence exports (services and equipment) and to reduce the demand on scarce UK military EOD&S trade groups.


The UK is a world leader in the field of C-EO/C-IED. Currently the MOD receives more requests for assistance for C-EO/C-IED annually than it is currently able to satisfy through the limited number of specialist UK military personnel able to deploy. The establishment of the CEDE office seeks to outsource the functions of developing and maturing opportunities with international partners, the provision of decision support to a governance committee and the commercial functions required to take an approved opportunity through to contract and through-life management. The positive impact of assistance is such that UK involvement can reap significant benefits in terms of improving bilateral relations and improving the UK’s public and international image.


Presenters will brief on the concept of the CEDE office, the functions it will be expected to provide, and the benefits for both HMG and UK Industry. In the afternoon, 20-minute 1:1 sessions will be available to be booked with the CEDE Project Team for closed targeted questioning/clarification.


Attendance at this Industry Briefing is by application only. Attendance is subject to approval by the MOD. The event is open to companies who are part of C-IED UK as well as those not currently active in the C-EO/C-IED sphere.


Applications to attend the Industry Briefing should be sent via email to (and copied to by no later than 22 August 2018. Successful applicants will be informed by email by 31 August 2018.

Applications to attend the Industry Briefing must include:

  • Company name
  • Representative’s:
    • Full name
    • Nationality
    • Date of birth
    • SC clearance details
    • Contact email and phone number

Security Clearance

Attendees must be cleared to SC level and be UK Nationals.


Army Reserve Centre, South Africa Road, White City, LONDON W12 7RW. Note there is no parking available on-site. The venue is a 2-3 minute walk from White City Underground station.


Doors will open at 0900hrs, with an opening brief by ACDS DE at 1000hrs. Briefings will be complete by 1200hrs and thereafter there will then be an opportunity for individual company representatives to have a short 1:1 session with the MOD team.


Limited hot drinks facilities will be available on-site.


Please allow at least 30 minutes to clear security at the entrance to the venue. Photographic ID (driving licence or passport) will be required on the day to gain entry to this Industry Day event.


Programme CORTISONE Procurement Update Event

Date: 17 May 2018

Time: 14:00-17:30

Venue: techUK, 10 Bride Street, LONDON EC4A 4AD

Post a strategic procurement reset in Autumn 2017, and consultation with healthcare suppliers and NHS Digital, CORTISONE is looking to showcase its refreshed procurement approach and upcoming opportunities for suppliers. This event looks to outline MOD’s vision for its healthcare services and opportunities for healthcare product/service suppliers to help deliver the CORTISONE solution. We will explain changes to the procurement approach for CORTISONE since the previous exercise, and offer an opportunity for industry to ask questions and engage with the programme team. The programme will then seek feedback on the approach after the event, to advise upcoming procurements in 2018/19.

What is Programme CORTISONE?

CORTISONE is a programme looking to deliver to Defence Medical Services an integrated ecosystem of multiple medical information services. Its vision is to deliver “a sustainable, integrated, cohesive and enduring information capability that will fully and effectively support the delivery of evidence-based medical and dental health and healthcare outputs, to achieve the Aim of the Defence Medical Services (DMS)” – which is to Promote, Protect and Restore the health of the Defence population to maximise their fitness for role, while maintaining an occupational focus and an operational edge.

A multimillion-pound programme, with global reach and operations equivalent in size to two large CCGs (Clinical Commissioning Groups) and a Community Trust, CORTISONE looks to procure a full suite of healthcare software and services from multiple healthcare product/service suppliers, as well as appoint a systems integrator. Elements of the ecosystem will be re-competed on a regular basis to ensure the best solutions are being delivered to users, giving an ongoing opportunity for market players to get involved with the ecosystem on a long-term basis.

The MOD is looking for a range of companies to engage with the programme, delivering a full suite of healthcare software and services to meet use-cases and patient-journey-defined functional requirements. The full range of services required can be seen in the accompanying graphic. All suppliers are encouraged to participate in the modular nature of the procurement allowing innovation to take a leading role in delivery of functionality.

CORTISONE is also looking to the future – to exploit innovations which will align with NHS strategy for the virtualisation of healthcare and integrated healthcare services across the healthcare sector. This will include telemedicine for deployed troops, integration with patient records across the NHS and other patient databases, patient condition tracking, and more.

What information will you get from this day?

  1. What CORTISONE is looking to procure and deliver.
  2. How the future procurement will be run.
  3. What the CORTISONE programme has learnt from, and has developed since its initial market engagement and procurement process.
  4. The opportunities and innovations that the procurement opens up, both in the short and long term.

Opportunities of the day:

  1. Engage with the CORTISONE team and representatives from DMS.
  2. Network with other suppliers and potential partners.

To book a place click here.

Submarine High Safety Integrity System – Requirements Definition, Design And Manufacture

Summary of Requirements:

BAE Systems Maritime – Submarines is soliciting interest from Industry for the Requirements Definition, Design and Manufacture of a high integrity (SIL3), real time, safety monitoring sub-system for a submarine platform.

BAE Systems Maritime – Submarines wish to receive expressions of interest by 27 April 2018 from companies which have the ability to conduct Requirements Definition, Design, Development, Manufacture, Integration and Support for the above.

Technical scope includes:

  • Sonar data and display processing
  • Visual system (camera) data and display processing
  • Software architecture and Software with a 3D anti-collision plot for charted items
  • Navigation data blending
  • Modular / dual-redundant processing and displays

Potential suppliers will preferably have relevant experience (in one or more of the technical scope aspects above) from creation of requirements through to in-service support, however, interested parties with comprehensive expertise in either requirements definition or design & manufacture within the above product domain may also be considered.

Responses must include an initial statement of capabilities that demonstrates compliance with the above requirements. This statement should be no more than 500 words and include up to three illustrated examples of previous programmes.

Subject to meeting initial selection criteria, interested companies will be given the opportunity to complete a formal technical capability questionnaire.

Prior to circulation of the questionnaire it will be necessary to implement a Non-Disclosure Agreement and a Security Aspects Letter. Please include in your response points of contact for future communication and confirm company registration and security contact details.

For further details, please contact:

Ivan Lawrence – Senior Procurement Manager, BAE Systems Maritime – Submarines,

Victory Point, Lyon Way, Frimley, Surrey GU16 7EX

T: +44 (0) 1276 601946

M: +44 (0) 7793 421162


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Vitavox: The integration of communication

Vitavox (a division of Secomak Ltd) has been providing naval and military communications systems, including military-grade loudspeakers, microphones and other sound reproducing equipment to Ministries of Defence for over 80 years.

MOD Defence Contracts Bulletin Editor Matt Brown spoke with John Moore, CEO at Vitavox, about the company’s relationship with the Ministry of Defence and how Vitavox’s communication systems are utilised by the UK’s Armed Forces.


What is Vitavox’s relationship with the Ministry of Defence?

Vitavox has been supplying the MOD with Naval equipment since the 1930s. Previously the contracts were direct, however the model has changed over the last 30 years and more is conducted through the Primes. This has turned into a positive advantage for Vitavox as the Primes have become more aware of our capability and expertise, which has opened up new markets for us, both on land and sea.


How do military communications differ from commercial models?

When at war, the first thing to be monitored and subsequently destroyed will be civil communications of all types. Mobile telephones and social media will not be allowed to operate. Therefore, the military must have their own, autonomous communications systems that will be immune to the jamming activities of the enemy.

The main difference in the equipment itself is that military equipment must be capable of withstanding conditions far more onerous than ordinary domestic systems. There is the vibration of an armoured vehicle, the heat of the hottest desert or the cold of Siberia, the shock of explosions nearby, constant subjection to salt water and dust. As an example, our submarine loudspeakers can withstand the pressure of half a ton per square inch and still then work on the surface.


The threats facing the defence and security sectors are constantly evolving – how is the tactical communications industry keeping pace with this?

Tactical communications equipment is constantly evolving as new capabilities are required by the armed services.

One specific application that Vitavox takes immense pride in is our Outacom® Public-Address System. This is being included on all the AJAX Armoured Fighting Vehicles, currently are being produced by General Dynamics for the British Army.

Our Business Development Manager for Vitavox, who was ex-services, REME, realised that the only way the Commander in an armoured vehicle could communicate with the civilian population was to open the hatch and stick their head out. Not always the safest course of action! Our experience meant we could generate this communication capability and protect the Commander.

Vitavox developed a public-address system based upon our proven naval technology for use on armoured vehicles. This was trialled and demonstrated at the Armoured Defence Trials Unit (ATDU), where it was seen by General Dynamics engineers and military capability specialists. This requirement was subsequently added to the AJAX programme, ultimately leading, through competitive tender, to Vitavox’s successful bid to supply Outacom to all AJAX vehicles.


As Vitavox is to supply its Outacom® technology to the fleet of new AJAX vehicles, did this require any modifications to the kit?

The core of the public-address system was already designed, and a functional system was demonstrated at ATDU. The final system that is being installed on AJAX required many modifications of form, fit and function to meet the exacting standards and requirements of General Dynamics and the British Army. As an SME, one of Vitavox’s key strengths is the ability to react quickly and with intelligence to requests from the Primes. These communication systems require not only an excellent product but also first-class documentation, proven testing and timely project management. Making life as easy as possible for the Primes is a major factor in our extremely successful current relationships.


How do the communication demands of the Type 23 Frigate vary from the Astute class of submarine?

There are specific material (flame toxicity) and shock requirement levels that differentiate submarines from ships, but there are many more similarities than differences.


What does the future hold for military communication technology and where do you see Vitavox in this?

The industry and its requirements are constantly evolving. To be at the forefront and be the provider of the military’s future requirements requires partnership with the Primes. Further full open dialogue with military end users ensures the solution works for personnel in the field.

Vitavox is prepared to enhance and expand both expertise and capability to meet and fulfil the exciting niche opportunities that continue to arise in military communication.

For more information, please visit:

image courtesy of Vitavox

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