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 Problem

A number of large departments within the MoD look towards their supply chain to deliver innovative solutions however, there was no streamlined approach to the organisation, collaboration or facilitation of the supply chain, to deliver a solution fit for purpose.

Solution
Each of the below cases demonstrated a need for partnerships to generate the best response to brief. Treehouse became the facilitators of the network and created and ran supply chain events to help assist deep dives into multiple challenges, supporting the business to develop ideas. 

Case 1: DASA (Defence and Security Accelerator)

On behalf of the Defence Human Capability Science and Technology Centre (DHCSTC) Treehouse ran the public consultation to design and develop the operating model for DASA, the hub through which Defence and Security innovation is born and raised. The brief was to create an Accelerator that would engage non-traditional defence contractors and stakeholders in ways that would be beneficial to all and ensure Defence and Security can get the innovation they need to stay ahead of adversaries.

Treehouse, in collaboration with 100% Open, formed a network of 1,000 stakeholders from across academia, industry (Primes and SMEs), dstl, the Home Office and Front Line Commands who co-created the blueprint and operating model for DASA. In a first for this market, a crowdsourcing platform (Crowdicity) was used for the consultation, allowing all contributors to collaborate alongside moderation and facilitation by Treehouse, 100% Open and the client. The platform was combined with a Listening Project in 1:1 telephone depths, and workshops to gather and distil output from the platform, which then was fed back to the crowd and they developed the concepts iteratively.

And so DASA was born, launching with Initial Operating capability in 8 Dec 2016, and has seen £16.8million invested in 127 proposals across 13 themed competitions for Government customers including the MOD, Home Office and the Department for Transport.

Case 2: DSTL – Innovative Models, Methods and Tools.

On behalf of Defence Scientific and Technology Laboratories (DSTL), Treehouse developed and executed an event which engaged the DSTL supply chain to investigate “Innovative Models, Methods and Tools (IMMT)” to provide better decision support to military decision makers. 

A first of its kind for DSTL, Treehouse designed the event to encourage collaboration within the supply chain to address 7 specific problems. Over 40 suppliers attended the day, which encompassed large Prime Contractors to Micro-Companies with a variety of skills and backgrounds. Using 6 expert facilitators, problem statements were worked on throughout the day by mixed teams of DSTL and Industry who were then invited to create proposals for funding to further develop their ideas. The successful cross fertilization of ideas led to a high number of proposals, with SMEs being particularly successful in securing a high proportion of the C. £400,000 of funding that was released following the event to continue development of ideas spawned during the day. 

Client feedback directly noted the collaboration techniques used by Treehouse being key to the success of the day, which led directly to new innovations in the tools used to support military decision making. 

Case 3: DSTL – Future Insights (Task 131)

This brief for this DSTL project is to explore innovative ways to communicate and analyse future concepts by developing a number of ‘Future Fictions’ and ‘Future Analytical Tools’.  These are to help UK Defence and Security decision makers to “understand the potential impact of emerging technologies in order to reduce the likelihood of future technological ‘shocks’ and enable the UK to be better prepared and make timely decisions to respond to and counter future threats”. Preparing for the future is a critical enabler for defence and yet it can be challenging to get decision makers to understand future concepts. People need to be able to visualise the future in a way that is not possible through a written report and analyse the future to consider a wider range of alternatives. 

Treehouse, in partnership with PA Consulting, developed and ran an approach to identify and assist non-traditional Defence suppliers which are able to deliver these ‘fictions’ and ‘analysis tools’. Through the process we received over 60 innovative proposals. These were narrowed down to 20, which were invited to a ‘dragons den’ style pitch day. A total of 11 proposals/suppliers secured funding during this pitch day. Over the following period of two months we supported the different suppliers in bringing their concepts to life – which ranged from an Augmented Reality App to Interactive E-books to a Machinima video to Boardgames to a Crowdsourcing platform and many more. All outputs have been presented and have been extremely enthusiastically received by a selection of senior Defence & Security personnel.

Treehouse has demonstrated to dstl that engagement with non-traditional Defence SMEs can tap into a wealth of innovative, different thinking and bring solutions to life which previously had not been imagined. We are currently supporting the creation of a virtual reality ‘museum of the future’ to showcase these different fictions/analysis tools to a wider defence and security audience.

Results

Each case study above has its own result, but the true success comes in Treehouse’s ability to manage a non-traditional supply chain simply, efficiently and effectively, being open and collaborative and allowing everyone to contribute in delivering the perfect solution to any innovation challenge.