Dstl Pit Stop – OPEN CALL

Dstl Pit Stop – OPEN CALL

‘How can automation and machine intelligence assist defence intelligence analysis?’

2-3 March 2017 | Digital Catapult Centre, London

Digital Catapult is running a Pit Stop with the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) in March 2017. We want to hear from small and medium sized companies, academics and experts interested in developing innovative automation and machine intelligence solutions to assist defence intelligence analysts.


The aim of the Pit Stop is to increase understanding and use of the rapidly developing multidisciplinary field of “autonomous agents” (unsupervised software and devices that undertake analysis on behalf of individuals or groups, without the requirement of human interaction) for operational planning.

Autonomous agents are a combination of a range of technologies and are predicted to become increasingly prevalent across many industries. Simple autonomous agents, such as Siri and Google Now are already available to the public; but as advances are made in the fields of machine intelligence and data science, the functionality of these agents will also increase.

To generate effective intelligence, UK military and security organisations need to process large amounts of data to support, guide and inform personnel in defence and humanitarian efforts, ensuring the right information is given to the right people at the right time.

Efficient data processing and extraction is a vital component of any military mission on land, sea or air. Dstl, in providing Science and Technology support to the defence and security of the UK, wants to use the vast and diverse data sources at its disposal as efficiently and effectively as possible, by exploiting recent advances in autonomy.

What to expect

Through collaboration, the Pit Stop will explore how the planning of military operations by human analysts can be informed by autonomous agents, addressing questions such as:

  • How can data analysis reduce the burden of searching and analysing large and varied defence data sets?
  • How can autonomous agents produce actionable intelligence?
  • How can Natural Language Processing and associated fields improve the interface between computers and analysts?
  • What can be done to instill confidence and trust in autonomous agents?

Successful proposals submitted after the Pit Stop may lead to Dstl funding contracts with collaborators to further explore and develop their ideas. Dstl has up to £100,000 available to fund further research.

Who should apply?

We want to hear from innovators experienced in developing solutions for autonomous data analysis and interpretation, with expertise in the following areas:

  • Machine learning
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Machine intelligence
  • Big data
  • Automation
  • Predictive analytics
  • Automated planning
  • Autonomous intelligence systems
  • Cognitive science

Previous experience of working in the defence and security sectors is not necessary.

The closing date to apply for this Pit Stop is Friday 27 January 2017.

To apply, or for more information, please visit the Digital Catapult Centre website.