in Defence / Events

Defence Hackathon develops real-world defence solutions

Posted 22 January 2024

Service Personnel from the Army, Navy, RAF and the Civil service have gathered at the Defence Hackathon to help develop and code solutions to key defence problems.

Above: The Defence Hackathon judging panel.

Courtesy British Army

A hackathon is a collaborative event where people come together to solve real-world problems using technology. Supported by industry experts from organisations including Microsoft and Amazon, 10 teams assembled for the third annual tri-service Defence Hackathon.

Over the course of five days, teams worked together to develop and code solutions to three real-world defence problems:

  1. How to improve the onboarding process for new joiners.
  2. How to improve the capture and use of imagery in defence.
  3. How to best use the personal skills of defence personnel.

The Hackathon was a great success, with teams producing innovative and practical solutions to each of the challenges. One team developed a mobile app that would help new joiners learn about the military and their new role before they even start their training.

Another team developed a system for matching defence personnel with personal skills to career opportunities.

At the end of the ‘hack’ teams had to brief their solutions to a panel of experts and senior military personnel led by Chief of Defence people, Vice Admiral Philip Hally.

Private Bruce Williams, an Army Intelligence Corps reservist helped code the winning solution said: "I'm so grateful for the opportunity to have participated in the hackathon. I've learned so much from my teammates and industry partners and I've made some great friends.

"I'm proud of the solution we developed and I'm excited to see how it's used to improve defence. I will definitely be attending the hackathon again next year.”

The hackathon was a valuable opportunity for defence personnel, civil servants and industry partners to work together to solve real-world problems. The solutions that were developed have the potential to make a significant difference to the way that the military operates and they are a testament to the creativity and ingenuity of the people involved.



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