Our Themes for 2022

Cyber Icon
Cybersecurity & Disinformation
In our modern battlefield, physical threats are exacerbated by cyber attacks & weaponised information. How can we equip ourselves with the tools to tackle these unique threats?
People & Skills
The military has a proud tradition as a hotbed of innovation talent. How can we upskill personnel with critical digital skills while fueling this culture of innovation?
Data-Driven Defence
Data has become an essential strategic asset in defence. From building a digital backbone to leveraging AI in the battlefield & the back-office, how can we best exploit the power of data?
Sustainability & Resilience
Defence accounts for 50% of the UK central government’s emissions, representing both a huge responsibility & opportunity for impact. How can we green the defence sector while adapting to the imminent threat of a changing climate?
Breaking Barriers For Startups
Too many good ideas never make it past prototyping & pilots. How can we break down barriers for innovators to ensure defence buyers can find - and quickly scale - the smartest technologies?
Main Stage
Breakout Room 1
Breakout Room 2
Check-in and Breakfast
8:30 - 8:55

In order to allow for sufficient time to check-in and receive your Event Pass, we politely request that all attendees arrive at the QEII Centre by 8:30. Coffee, tea and light breakfast snacks will be available for all attendees.

*PUBLIC staff will be at the venue entrance from 8:00 for those who wish to check-in early and enjoy a quiet coffee or tea before the action starts!

Welcome from PUBLIC
8:50 - 9:00

Welcome from PUBLIC: Daniel Korski and Natasha Wren

Daniel Korski
Chief Executive Officer &
Co-Founder, PUBLIC
Natasha Wren
Head of Comms, PUBLIC
Opening Keynote Address
9:05 - 9:15

The opening keynote will set the scene for the rest of the day, looking at the current state of digital innovation across defence and setting out the core issues to be discussed. Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoană will deliver his address virtually from NATO HQ.

Mircea Geoana
NATO Deputy Secretary General
Opening Panel
9:20 - 10:10

Adopt, integrate and scale: A new era for defence innovation

As technological capability continues to grow as a key determinant of military power, digital transformation has become a necessity for defence. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has demonstrated the necessity for defence forces to adapt to asymmetric warfare - as traditional kinetic threats are exacerbated by cyber and information warfare. However, there is a growing gap between the pace of technological development and the ability of organisations to adopt these technologies. The challenge the sector now faces is one of adoption, integration and scale. Tackling this will require connectivity across all domains in defence, as well as a keen focus on digital upskilling and recruitment, data capabilities and better use of innovative solutions from non-traditional suppliers. This presents a need to balance addressing the imminent security threats today while building resilience for the threats of tomorrow.

Lt General Tom Copinger-Symes Cbe
Director of Military Digitisation, UK Strategic Command
Kusti Salm
Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Defence of Estonia
Nick Elliot
CEO, Helsing UK
Shashank Joshi
Defence Editor, The Economist
Caroline Bellamy
CDO, UK Ministry of Defence
Amandine Le Pape
Co-founder and COO, Element
Startup Showcase
10:10 - 10:20
Morning Break
10:20 - 10:40
10:40- 11:20

‘Integration by Instinct’: Building the defence force of the future

Creating and implementing the tech to achieve multi-domain integration is important, but equally as essential is building a defence force which will apply and scale it by design. In order to effectively integrate across domains, we must connect training services between military branches to ensure we establish a consistent set of capabilities, ways of working and digital skills which prioritise innovation. This will involve careful consideration of how to both attract and retain talent while addressing the unique skills gaps in the private and public sector talent pools.

Al Whittle
Director of Strategy and Plans, Inzpire
Morgan (Mogsy) Long
MyNavy & MyRAF Senior Product Manager, Navy Digital
Sven Weizenegger
Managing Director, Bundeswehr Cyber Innovation Hub
Nabil Lodey
CEO, Envitia
Air Commodore David Tait
Head of Training, Education, Skills, Recruiting and Retention, UK MOD
Gabriella Cox
Head of Strategy and Policy for the Defence Innovation Unit, UK MoD
11:25 - 12:15

Paving a path for innovation: How can the sector attract the very best of entrepreneurship?

This session will focus on the dual angles of procurement and investment in discussing what current barriers startups/SMEs face when entering the defence sector - and what can be done to dismantle these barriers. A key challenge in driving digital innovation in defence surrounds ensuring procurement systems are designed with an explicit focus towards startups and SMEs. This pipeline begins with investment, but critical to empowering innovators to engage with and scale within the defence sector is building an environment which is both attractive and accessible to them. There is huge potential in paving a path for startups and other non-traditional suppliers into the defence sector, as they bring with them new digital tools, key skill sets and unique perspectives on digital innovation into the workforce.

Joe Robinson
CEO Defence and Security, Improbable
Hannah Croft
Senior Consultant, Rowden Technologies
Paul Hollingshead
Head of Europe & Africa, Anduril Industries
David Ford
Partner, Silverpeak
Nicholas Nelson
Principal & Senior Technology Advisor European Operations LeadGeorgia Tech Research Institute
Anita Friend
Head of DASA
Job Title
Job Title
Job Title
Job Title
Startup Showcase
12:15 - 12:25
12:25 - 13:25
Fireside chat
13:25 - 13:50

Defence’s digital backbone: How can we harness the power of data?

Foundational to our wider digital defence strategy is the digital backbone - building an interconnected system of people and tools which allow data to flow between domains, partners, allies and suppliers. New digital technologies have the power to integrate data systems from field sensors to central command centres, empowering personnel at all levels to make better, quicker decisions. This integrated flow of data is critical to equip our forces to tackle emerging threats, particularly when operating in denied environments. Interconnected, secure data systems across domains will empower personnel to communicate more effectively, make data-driven decisions and react quickly to volatile threat landscapes.

Charlie Forte
CIO, UK Ministry of Defence
Thomas Nilsson
CIO, Swedish Armed Forces
13:55 - 14:35

Weaponising information: Disinformation as a critical security threat

As our global threat landscape evolves, the nature of both our security threats and our tools to neutralise them are changing in important ways. In many cases, physical threats are being exacerbated with weaponised data. Adversarial powers are leveraging innovative digital technologies to systematically spread disinformation in order to shape public perception, posing a critical security threat to the UK and its allies. It is therefore essential that we position our defence strategy to address the real - and distinct - dangers of both disinformation and misinformation. In facing these twin threats in domestic and foreign contexts, we must proactively combat our adversaries’ efforts to weaponise information while exploiting the power of data for our own benefit.

Sasha Havlicek
CEO & Co-Founder, Institute for Strategic Dialogue
John-Orr Hanna
Chief Intelligence Officer,
Lyric Jain
CEO and Founder,
Dan Fitter
Privacy, Security & Safety Lead, PUBLIC
Spotlight Session
14:40 - 15:20

Defence tech of the future - today: Showcasing high-impact AI use cases

This session will explore a set of current use cases for leveraging AI to address key emerging defence concerns - with an emphasis on the role of AI in non-combat contexts. AI-powered digital tools hold enormous potential to disrupt and improve our defence capabilities in order to tackle new - and existing - threats. Though many of the most promising areas for impact are found not on the frontlines of the battlefield, but rather in the back-office in the form of powerful tools fulfilling critical defence functions. Featuring a line-up of defence leaders implementing AI-powered technologies in practice, this session will showcase tangible success stories demonstrating the power of these tools to revolutionise key functions such as operational planning, supply chain management and data-driven decision-making. These case studies will be situated within a wider discussion of the current barriers to integrating AI within the digital backbone and defence operational systems and what we can do to overcome them.

Sian Townson
Director - Data & Analytics,
Oliver Wyman
Marc Warner
CEO & Co-Founder, Faculty
David Short
Technology Director, BAE Systems
Captain Jordan Kemp
Industry Placement at Adarga from the British Army
Major General Tom Copinger-Symes Cbe
Director of Military Digitisation, UK Strategic Command
Caroline Bellamy
CDO, UK Ministry of Defence
Nick Elliot
Job Title
Startup Showcase
15:20 - 15:30
AWS Accelerator Launch
15:30 - 15:35
Afternoon Break
15:35 - 15:55
Fireside Chat
15:55 - 16:25

Innovate, adapt and operate: Addressing the imminent threat of a changing climate

Climate change is - and will continue to be - one of the most critical threats nations are faced with. While most of our climate-related discussions are rightly concerned with decarbonisation and getting the defence sector to Net Zero, there is another key component which demands attention: the tangible, imminent changes to the climate. Alongside a robust, long-term plan for sustainability, the defence sector must engage with the present threat of climate change altering the nature of our physical battlefields. These practical considerations are of critical importance in order to ensure we are equipped to innovate, adapt and operate in new volatile environments. Crucially, our commitment to integration and technological innovation will play an indispensable role in addressing this threat and building a sustainable, resilient defence force.

Lucia Retter
Research Leader in Defence & Security, RAND Europe
Rebecca Warren
Senior Policy Advisor, NATO, Polar Regions & Euro-Atlantic Security, Cabinet Office
16:30 - 17:10

Cyber resilience for national security: How can we leverage innovation to bolster our cyber defences?

This session will convene a group of cyber defence experts to discuss the key considerations around cybersecurity as we look to integrate data systems, defend against cyber threats to our national security and adapt to a changing global battlefield. With traditional kinetic threats being exacerbated by threats in the cyber domain, it is essential to ensure we are equipped with the necessary defensive and offensive cyber capabilities to protect our national security. Essential to achieving this will be maintaining an efficient and accessible pipeline of innovators into the public sector to ensure our national defence organisations are effectively empowering startups on the cutting-edge of cybersecurity.

Dr. Melanie Garson
Cyber Policy Lead, Tony Blair Institute for Global Change
Pete Cooper
Deputy Director of Cyber Defence, Cabinet Office
Syra Marshall
CTO and Co-Founder,
Dr. Ryan Heartfield
CTO and Co-founder, Exalens
Major General Tom Copinger-Symes Cbe
Director of Military Digitisation, UK Strategic Command
Caroline Bellamy
CDO, UK Ministry of Defence
Nick Elliot
Job Title
Closing Remarks from PUBLIC
17:10 - 17:20