Consortia awarded two year contract by Dstl and DE&S to deliver information superiority

21 Feb 2013

21 February 2013 - The Ministry of Defence (MOD) has awarded multi-million pound research contracts to three QinetiQ led consortia and Niteworks to improve information superiority for operations.

The consortia - Enabling Secure Information Infrastructure (ESII), ISTAR Concepts & Solutions (ICS) and Command Inform and Battlespace Management (CIBM) – along with Niteworks have been awarded £10 million worth of contracts by the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) in partnership with DE&S. This Dstl and DE&S partnership is designed to address the challenges that affect the pull through of research into capability. These contracts will help deliver a two year Information Superiority for Contingent Operations (ISCO) research programme set up by Dstl.

Information Superiority is about obtaining a greater level of information about the battlespace and using it more rapidly to give an advantage to the UK armed forces. The MOD’s Communication and Information Systems (CIS) capabilities need to evolve to meet the challenges that contingent operations will provide.

The ISCO programme will develop and deliver cost effective solutions to support the MOD’s Information Superiority capability within a five year timeframe. This will be achieved by improving CIS technology, processes and training to support troops entering an operational theatre, improve interoperability with allies, while reducing size, weight, power consumption and cost of equipment-based solutions.

George Barlow, ISCO Leader, says: “Awarding these contracts represents a major landmark for the ISCO programme. The excellent group of scientists, engineers and academics that are represented within both industry, Dstl and DE&S provides the best approach to delivering this challenging and agile programme as it develops solutions that will deliver real benefit to future deployed forces.”

The ISCO programme will help sustain C4ISR capability within QinetiQ and across the defence industry. Jeremy Ward, MD of QinetiQ C4ISR Division says of the award: “QinetiQ is delighted to continue our partnership with Dstl on C4ISR research to provide support to the ISCO programme. We have brought to bear three strong, pan-industry and academia teams (ESII, CIBM and ICS), which include many of the UK’s most respected scientists, engineers and academics. The team will provide the MOD with rapid access to a broad range of potential solutions. We will then support Dstl’s evaluation of their potential to make a step change in the capability of our front line troops as they plan, initiate and sustain contingent operations.”

Alasdair Campbell, Niteworks Programme lead says: "It is widely recognised that effective information exploitation, enabled by good information management, is key to modern operations. As part of ISCO, the Niteworks Information Management project seeks to identify and implement best practice from across a range of civil and military communities worldwide. Focused initially on 16 Air Assault Brigade the project brings urgency to the desire to improve capability within weeks rather than months or years."

These contracts provide access to knowledge and experience of the defence industry, including a wide range of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and academia, to develop solutions that will deliver real benefit to future deployed forces.

For more information contact the Dstl press office on 01980 658666, 07901 892660,

Notes to editors:


The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) maximises the impact of science and technology (S&T) for the defence and security of the UK, supplying sensitive and specialist S&T services for the Ministry of Defence (MOD) and wider government.

It starts from the presumption that work should be conducted by external suppliers unless there is a clear reason for it to be done or led by Dstl. At present, around sixty percent of the approximately £400 million MOD non-nuclear defence research programme, managed through Dstl, goes to industry and academia to deliver.

Dstl is a trading fund of the MOD, run along commercial lines. It is one of the principal government organisations dedicated to S&T in the defence and security field, with around 3,700 staff at its three main sites: Porton Down, near Salisbury, Portsdown West, near Portsmouth, and Fort Halstead, near Sevenoaks.

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Consortia awarded two year contract by Dstl and DE&S to deliver information superiority