Royal Navy and RAF personnel to embrace innovation with start of hands-on course

Royal Navy personnel will be joined by the RAF as they begin the second Percy Hobart Fellowship.

The 12-week course gives serving sailors and Royal Marines and civil servants a hands-on experience in how defence can embrace new technologies.

The second cohort comes after the success of last year’s inaugural fellowship and will also include personnel from the RAF.

The 46 participants will spend the next three months looking at how they and the Armed Forces can bring more innovative ideas to the defence sector.

Through secondments into civilian-led start-ups, they will have the opportunity to learn first-hand what it’s like to conceive new ideas, develop products and translate these principles into benefits for Royal Navy and Royal Air Force.

First Sea Lord Admiral Tony Radakin

First Sea Lord Admiral Tony Radakin

I am delighted more of our talented people have the opportunity to bring the skills they will learn from industry back to defence

The Ministry of Defence has awarded PUBLIC the contract to deliver this second course.

First Sea Lord Admiral Tony Radakin said: “This fellowship empowers our people to think differently about technology and innovation.

“Last year’s fellowship was a great success and I am delighted more of our talented people have the opportunity to bring the skills they will learn from industry back to defence.”

Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Sir Mike Wigston added: “Innovation lies at the heart of all we do in the Royal Air Force. This fellowship will inspire our people across all ranks to challenge the norm and to think differently to maintain our competitive edge.”

This year’s cohort were selected in a competitive process from across all ranks within the navy and air force. They also come from a range of services and trades including engineering, medical and flight units.

Fellows will return to the navy and air force later this year with an understanding of the fundamentals in business and technology. They will look to use this knowledge to embed new and innovative processes in their roles and drive digital transformation from within the defence sector.