QinetiQ and the University of Lincoln have announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which will see the establishment of a partnership to develop a national Centre for Defence and Security Artificial Intelligence in Lincoln. The centre will serve as a hub of best practice, research and development and training for artificial intelligence (AI) applications in defence and security. This collaboration will see QinetiQ, including subsidiaries Naimuri and Inzpire, work with the University of Lincoln to maximise capabilities in AI, in the pursuit of achieving information superiority and enabling better decision-making using data science. The Centre will also seek to address vital issues around assurance and ethics, important for the adoption of AI, but in particular for its use in defence and security.
“This collaboration marks a significant milestone in advancing the application of AI in UK defence and security, positioning Lincolnshire as a leading hub of expertise, research and development in this critical field. We are proud to partner with QinetiQ. Together we are dedicated to not only harnessing the full potential of AI, but also ensuring its responsible use. This partnership emphasises our commitment to shaping the future of defence and security and taking our region’s capabilities to the global stage, through the cutting-edge technology, a skilled workforce and the collective innovation we have to offer,” commented Major General (Retd) Julian Free CBE, Deputy Vice Chancellor, University of Lincoln.
Dr Vicki Saward, Global Campaign Director for Cyber and Information Advantage, QinetiQ commented: “This partnership enables us to be at the heart of developing industry best practice and preparing the next generation of talent. AI and machine learning, while not new, are rapidly growing areas of technology and it is important to understand both the potential issues but also the significant opportunities they hold for our industry. The close alignment with the University of Lincoln builds on our existing work with the local Enterprise Partnership and demonstrates our commitment to work with organisations and academia in the Lincolnshire area.”
The work done by the Centre will aim to establish industry best practice and the safe and secure integration of these emerging technologies into vital operations. It will also seek to educate both existing and future practitioners in the defence and security industry through activities such as hackathons, exchange programmes, scholarships, research frameworks and training. Today’s news follows the recent launch of the Greater Lincolnshire Regional Defence & Security Cluster, established by the Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership. The cluster is designed to support innovation in intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance and promote the area’s ability to develop and support vital defence and security programmes.