Defence Academy innovation enables online access to decades of research for UK defence and allies

An innovative digital project launching at the Defence Academy is poised to make decades of defence research available to UK Defence personnel and allies.

Two men in civilian dress shaking hands in front of a glass door with the company name 'Squiz'.

The Defence Academy Research Engine (DARE) is due to launch in September 2022.  Designed by the Centre for Defence Education Research and Analysis (CDERA), the DARE will be an accessible and searchable online environment collating historic and current research papers, authored by members of the Defence Academy of the United Kingdom.  It will also serve as a portal to collect proposed research topics which Defence Academy students can tackle.

Announcing the launch of the DARE project, Major General Andrew Roe, Chief Executive and Commandant of the Defence Academy, said:

“The Defence Academy is enormously proud to be spearheading this new and innovative capability, which is fit for the Information Age, unrivalled across defence.

“By facilitating access to a comprehensive single source of research, the DARE will enable the Defence Academy to act as a problem solver and academic powerhouse for Defence, pulling together the latest in critical thinking and thought leadership. There is a wealth of knowledge, experience and intellect within the Defence Academy, and we look forward to sharing this capability more widely with our armed forces and with allies across government, academia and industry.”

Chris Taylor, SO1 CDERA, said:

“At CDERA we are committed to engaging in and promoting problem-based learning within and beyond the Defence Academy community. DARE will facilitate access to research that is rigorous, applicable, relevant and digestible for the defence and security sector.

“We are absolutely delighted to be embarking on this incredibly exciting project, which will support learners and Defence Academy partners to develop and sustain the intellectual edge as well as helping to solve problems within Defence.”

For design and build of the DARE application, CDERA has contracted with Squiz, a global technology company with a pedigree of delivering digital solutions for high-profile organisations. Their clients include UK government departments, such as the Cabinet office and NHS, and well-respected higher education institutions including UCL and the universities of Oxford and Cambridge.

Nick Condon, Managing Director of Squiz UK, said:

“At Squiz our mission is to create services online, that improve people’s lives offline. We’re incredibly proud to be selected by CDERA to create a platform that consolidates some of the world’s best defence research in an easy to search, review and consume platform.”

“The best digital solutions occur when technology and people intersect with a clear outcome. Squiz are confident that our partnership with CDERA on the DARE application will provide the UK’s best researchers and thought leaders with the insight they need to create tomorrow’s defence solutions.”

People gathered around desk and whiteboard brainstorming. The DARE will be hosted via a portal on the Defence Academy website, with access automatically enabled for MOD personnel via Defence Gateway log-in credentials. CDERA will also create individual accounts for interested external parties who are also set to benefit from this new capability.

The target launch date for the DARE is September 2022.