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Formal meeting (oral evidence session): Defence concepts and capabilities: from aspiration to reality

International Relations and Defence Committee
Defence concepts and capabilities: from aspiration to reality

Wednesday 20 July 2022

Start times: 10.30am (private) 10.30am (public)

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Committee to question experts on defence R&D


This week the Committee will hold its last session before Parliamentary recess, taking evidence for its “Defence concepts and capabilities: from aspiration to reality” inquiry.


This meeting will focus on defence R&D and challenges around translating research into defence capabilities. The Committee will question experts representing King’s College London and International Institute for Strategic Studies.

Meeting details

At 10.30am: Oral evidence
Inquiry Defence concepts and capabilities: from aspiration to reality
Deputy Head and Director of Research, Defence Studies at King's College London
Research Fellow for Defence and Military Analysis at International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS)

Possible Questions:


  • The Integrated Review and Defence Command Paper place a bet on new and emerging disruptive technologies. Such technologies are developing fast, yet with much uncertainty over their full future military potential. How well is the Government prepared to adapt to this challenge?


  • What is your assessment of the institutions and processes for translating research and innovation into military capability? Do you believe that there are any logjams in that process? What are the strengths and weaknesses of key institutions in the sector?


  • When discussing the relationship between the Ministry of Defence and businesses, start-ups and academia, the topic of ‘cultural change’ is often brought up. What sort of culture change is needed, if any, particularly to facilitate cross-governmental cooperation with private and academic actors?


  • Last month the Ministry of Defence published Defence Artificial Intelligence Strategy, setting out how it will “adopt and exploit AI at pace and scale, transforming Defence into an ‘AI ready’ organisation and delivering cutting-edge capability”. What is your assessment of this strategy? How realistic is its implementation?


  • The UK plans to establish an Advanced Research and Invention Agency (ARIA), analogous to the US Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). However, ARIA’s launch has been delayed, its funding commitment is only £800 million, and it remains unclear what its relationship with Defence will be. Do you think ARIA will be able to replicate DARPA’s successes, given these constraints?


Room 4, Palace of Westminster

How to attend