The funding will go towards technology such as AI, brain scanners, and neuroscience to improve training and welfare for service personnel. It is hoped that the innovations will improve mental health and wellbeing through improved support.
The £1million funding is part of DASA’s Defence People Innovation Challenge which is managed by the MOD’s Chief of Defence People as well as the Defence Innovation Unit and Defence Innovation Fund. Winning innovations include a system gathering feedback from troops in real-time and a virtual life coach.
Johnny Mercer, Minister for Defence People and Veterans, said: “We welcome this £1m investment from DASA aimed at improving the welfare of Armed Forces personnel.”
“Our Armed Forces serve this country to an exceptional standard and help to keep us safe, so it’s only right that they receive the best possible training and support.”
The first phase of funding to this competition in 2018 saw nearly £1.5m of innovation contracts awarded to nine suppliers to develop their initial ideas, meaning nearly £2.5m has been awarded in total. The competition finds innovative solutions to boost recruitment, skills and training, retention, motivation, and rehabilitation.
Around £1m is being invested to further develop and trial cutting-edge artificial intelligence, psychological, and neuroscience tools and technology such as brain scanners in a bid to boost the training, wellbeing, and mental health support offered to personnel. The next phase will continue focussing on AI and cognitive science to support armed forces personnel in their everyday lives.
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