It has been announced today, 19 November 2020, that the UK military is to receive an extra £4bn a year over the next four years. The money will fund space and cyber defence projects such as an artificial intelligence agency, and could create 40,000 new jobs.
Dr Simon Harwood, Director of Defence and Security at Cranfield University, said: “This is welcome recognition of the emergent, and in some instances present threats to the UK’s national security and resilience.
“Space, electronic warfare, cyber and artificial intelligence are areas that offer challenges and opportunities that our armed forces and security services need to be able to operate effectively in. The UK has world-class innovators in these areas and it is essential that our armed forces are equipped, and trained, with the very best knowledge and tools in order to protect the nation.
“As the Defence Secretary stated, ‘We have to move with the threat’. Too often there is hiatus between innovation and deployment in the field and this settlement looks like it might go some way to address that issue.
“To address this emergent threat, at Cranfield University, we are already working in all of the critical areas identified with a focus on the innovation process, space, electronic warfare, cyber and artificial intelligence all with an overall emphasis towards UK national security and resilience. Working with SMEs and industry partners such as Pool Re, BAE Systems and Thales, alongside the UK Government and we look forward to continuing our work in helping the UK defend and protect its national interest.”