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Royal Navy looks for digital partner for data analytics and AI platform

Matteo Natalucci Published 16 April 2018

£1.9m contract aims to deliver Programme NELSON common maritime big-data platform


The Ministryof Defence (MoD) is looking for a digital transformation partner to continue the development of the NELSON Data Platform to “iteratively improve” the environment for data analytics.

Programme NELSON aims to rapidly accelerate the exploitation of advanced data analytics and AI in the Royal Navy.

The data platform is a fleet-wide, ship-agnostic big data layer that runs in a virtualised environment. It will transform the analytical capability of a ship’s systems by making all appropriate data available in one environment. This will enable better analytics using more data, but will also reduce costs of integration, and improve agility of upgrades.

The Royal Navy needs a partner to iteratively develop the data platform from its current alpha to become an operationally capable and accreditable beta, delivering a common maritime big-data platform.

The MoD said in the tender notice, “Traditionally, an analytical application has been tightly coupled with the data that drove the processes in that application. This led to every application needing its own pot of data which resulted in duplication”.

The MoD added, “As different suppliers were involved with different systems, data standards were inconsistent making the growing pots of data incompatible. This has resulted in less effective analytical applications”

The Royal Navy needs real-time and historic data available for its application through a well-documented and managed API, so that it can quickly and iteratively create applications for use on Royal Navy platforms.

The expected contract length is May 7 2018 to March 31 2019, up to a maximum budget of £1.9m.

The platform was presented at the DSEi 17 conference, and industry days for the Exercise Information Warrior 18.

A prospective bidders’ presentation with Q&A is scheduled for April 20 at Portsdown Technology Park to demonstrate the current technology, and enable bidders to understand the current code base.


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