Employing Silicon Valley’s lean start-up methodology, students on the Advanced Command and Staff Course (ACSC) at the Defence Academy of the United Kingdom began the ‘Hacking for MOD’ phase of their programme last week (18/1).
As part of the newly launched Masters of Science (MSc) in Defence Innovation in partnership with King’s College London, ‘Hacking for MOD’ is a UK Ministry of Defence-sponsored programme solving real-world problems in innovative and rapid ways.
Twenty-three ACSC MSc students are working in six teams on separate challenges identified in defence or other government sectors by using a different approach to problem-solving. Rather than developing a solution before showing it to the customer, lean start-up methodology requires the team to use a more collaborative approach, conducting numerous interviews to better understand the issues and potential resolutions. Used effectively, it is hoped to provide innovative and cost-effective solutions to challenges in government, national security and defence.
The eight-week Hacking4 MOD phase of the MSc in Defence Innovation culminates in final presentations of their solutions, called Minimum Viable Products, in March.
Lieutenant Colonel Rich Forsyth OBE, ACSC directing staff, explained that the aim of the Hacking4MOD section of the MSc is to develop “an ecosystem of defence leaders who can think differently about problem solving and develop rapid, innovative and cheaper solutions to dynamic problems.”
The ACSC is for OF4 officers (commander, lieutenant colonel and wing commander) from the Royal Navy, Army, RAF and Royal Marines, as well as those awaiting promotion. It is also attended by Civil Servants and international allies. As part of the ACSC, students have the opportunity to take one of three Masters-level degrees, including the MSc in Defence Innovation, delivered by the Defence Academy and King's College London, in partnership with the Common Mission Project.