BAE Systems Applied Intelligence is proud to have been selected as the finalist across an array of categories at the Management Consultancies Association (MCA) Awards, taking place later this year in London.
The MCA Awards – a prestigious event in the UK consulting calendar for more than 20 years – features prizes for firms, projects and individuals. Charles Newhouse, Global Consulting Director, expressed his delight about our success so far.
“Given the huge number of nominations, we are thrilled to have been selected as a finalist in so many categories,” he said.
“Our company values mean that we continually strive for excellence and our finalists exemplify how we put our clients at the centre of everything we do. From using data to help protect vulnerable children to helping the Royal Navy harness the benefits of artificial intelligence, our nominations demonstrate how we protect and enhance the connected world. Roll on the awards ceremony in April!”
Introducing the finalists: Our Projects
Data and Innovation in the Public Sector
with the Royal Navy (NELSON)
The Royal Navy is currently in the midst of a concerted drive to accelerate its adoption of cutting-edge technology.
Prime among multiple initiatives is Programme NELSON, an innovation programme which is using Artificial Intelligence (AI) and data science to construct a “Navy Mind” – a common big data platform – to be used on warships and at naval headquarters. From using predictive AI to undertake preventative ship maintenance, to identifying suspicious shipping behaviour, to strengthening logistics planning, NELSON is revolutionising how the Navy conducts its operations – on land and at sea.
BAE Systems Applied Intelligence has been involved with the NELSON Programme almost since its inception. As prime contractor developing the data platform we have scaled when required, and ensured that everything is led by the needs of naval personnel. As a result, the BETA data platform is successfully undergoing sea trials on a Type 45 Destroyer – a world first.
The technical delivery forms only part of our impact, however. The NELSON programme is also a hugely powerful change-agent – not only for digitisation but also for the Navy’s business processes as a whole. In addition to hosting two industry hackathons to open up defence innovation to non-traditional companies, our use of Agile working has identified efficiencies which otherwise would not have come to light. This has meant the programme is driving cultural change across the Navy, one focused on innovation, flexibility and inclusivity.
Performance Improvement in the Public Sector
with Home Office (National ANPR Service)
When a vehicle passes an Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) camera, its registration number is instantly checked against a database of vehicles of interest – something that is almost impossible to achieve by other means.
Until recently, however, ANPR’s full potential was not being harnessed. Technology, process and data issues meant not all records could be used for evidential purposes. Given that timely access to ANPR data is critical in threat to life situations, the Home Office decided to build and deploy a world first: a National ANPR Service (NAS).
This new system replaces 36 multiple federated ANPR systems and gives Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs), including the 43 Police Forces of England and Wales, access to a real-time nationwide ANPR data-set. The programme launched in 2014 but stalled and was paused in May 2016. Enter BAE Systems Applied Intelligence.
We conducted a joint programme review with the Home Office that identified a number of key remedial activities. Eight months later, NAS delivered its first pilot service, and 18 months after the pilot, it went live. All 43 Police Forces were on-boarded within five months – the previous national policing programme took over two years to achieve a similar goal.
Today, every police feeds its data into NAS, with 12 using the system operationally as well as eight LEAs. By the first quarter of 2020, every police force and an estimated 16 LEAs will use NAS as their primary ANPR system.
Social Value – Child Protection Intelligent Analytics
Child protection investigations are amongst the biggest challenges facing law enforcement, health and social care. With vital information about vulnerable children spread across different systems and organisations, such investigations require time and expertise from multiple agencies, and threaten serious and potentially life-changing consequences for the victims.
The current system requires a child to hit a threshold of risk before any information can be shared between law enforcement agencies and child protection organisations. The problem is that these are red flag events – such as a child self-harming or coming into A&E with multiple broken bones.
BAE Systems has long brought together disparate pieces of data and made sense of them on behalf of commercial organisations. So we asked – why can’t we do the same for child protection?
Teaming up with Gloucestershire’s police and social services, we redeployed technology typically used to detect fraudsters in financial institutions and collected data from multiple agencies automatically. Our tool analysed and presented it back in a single place to inform child care professionals about the risk around a single child, before any red flag event occurs.
Over a 12 week project, we:
- Analysed three years’ worth of data in just four hours
- Reduced the review time for a referral from 150 minutes to just 15 minutes
- Developed a new operating model which put data and analytics at the heart of child protection
Our new tool enables all the pieces of the puzzle to connect together and helps keep children safe.
Introducing the Finalists: Our People
Young Consultant of the Year – Orsolya Patterson
Meet Orsi Patterson. She’s not your average Royal Navy leader. She’s from Hungary for starters. She’s only been working in defence for a few years. And her academic credentials? Well, if English and Japanese are your priorities then Orsi is the woman to turn to.
So how is this young consultant from BAE Systems Applied Intelligence now heading up operations at NavyX, the Royal Navy’s military and industry hi-tech accelerator?
Orsi was only supposed to have been seconded for a few months. And yet time and time again, her contract has been extended and her ascent has continued. Her colleagues in the Navy – across all ranks – have come to rely on her passion, communication and leadership – as well as her uncanny ability to get things done.
Thanks in large part to Orsi’s dedication and drive, the Royal Navy is rapidly adapting to the challenge of Machine-Speed Warfare. From developing its Technology Vision to supporting the Defence Transformation Fund to setting up its accelerator, NavyX, hers has been a transformational impact, one rooted in the best traditions of the Royal Navy yet aspirational about what can be achieved in the future.
Under Orsi’s operational leadership, NavyX is pioneering the use of cutting-edge equipment, turning ideas into impact and exponentially accelerating the Royal Navy’s speed of learning and ability to identify and integrate best-in-class technologies. It’s quite the responsibility – but Orsi wouldn’t have it any other way.
Rising Star – Holly Armitage
Holly Armitage is a leader and role model in every sense. Her job title – Head of Data Services – only hints at her huge impact and influence, both inside and outside BAE Systems Applied Intelligence.
Arriving from a senior role in government, she served as HMRC’s Head of Applied Data – she has single-handedly revolutionised our approach to strategy development, data ethics and supporting junior colleagues.
From working alongside a large financial institution to deliver a multi-billion pound technology transformation to leading our data ethics and literacy thought leadership to investing in the capabilities of junior team members, Holly’s track record is like no other. No wonder colleagues of all rank jostle for the opportunity to work with her.
Holly’s combination of expertise and eloquence has seen her in huge demand. A keynote speaker at this year’s Tech London’s flagship event, The AI Summit, she is a regular speaker and panellist on challenges, opportunities and culture barriers facing a datadriven society, presenting at Smart London, EveryWoman Tech Forum and the Athena Code Show.
In 2019, Holly was awarded the ‘Most Influential Women in Aerospace and Defence’ by the Influential Businesswoman Awards. She is a proud advocate for diversity and inclusion in STEM, including volunteering and mentoring with Stemettes in her spare time.
A consultant for less than three years, Holly has achieved more than many do in their entire career. And she’s only just getting started…
Thought Leader Consultant of the Year – Roberto Desimone
From Artificial Intelligence to Machine Learning to Quantum Computing, Roberto Desimone has scaled bleeding edge research heights that few can equal. But he is far more than a research scientist.
His career has been rooted in impact, for US/UK defence ministries, where he helped pioneer their use of AI in command decision-making and logistics, to the private sector, where he has revolutionised BAE Systems Applied Intelligence’s approach to strategic innovation.
Thanks to Roberto, its clients can now tap into a rich seam of emerging disruptive technologies, opening up a fresh wave of novel solutions in the fight against cyber-crime and financial fraud, as well as strengthening law enforcement, national security and defence. Yet his has been no smooth ride.
On several occasions, Roberto has had to convince sceptics – internal and external – of the importance and viability of his work. Converting them into supporters has pockmarked his career, as have regular sabbaticals in academia to further augment his experience and insights on the frontline of advanced technological research.
Roberto’s story is a testament to the power of a true thought leader – winning hearts and minds while also helping organisations across public/private sectors to reap the benefits and potential from the disruptive technologies which are fast remaking the world around us.