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 Innovation and Disruption in Defence 

 The Defence Innovation Centre and Army BattleLab 


 08:30 - 09:30 GMT

 Thursday 3 December 2020 
 Virtual Event, taking place on Zoom  

The first part of the new Defence Innovation Centre, the Army BattleLab, will enable the Army to engage directly and persistently with industry, small and medium sized enterprises and institutions which can help it think about its challenges differently. Enabling early engagement between the Army’s end users – its soldiers – and those who have the expertise to develop technology, it will combine the Army's requirements with industry experience to change how the Army develops and procures unique and technical capabilities in future.

Join this webinar with Maj Gen Jez Bennett CBE (Director Capability and the Army’s Innovation Champion) and Brig Matt Cansdale MBE (Head Future Force Development) to learn about:

  • The Defence Innovation Centre and Army BattleLab Operating Concept – how it will run and interact with industry and wider SMEs
  • Army BattleLab progress to date including key timelines
  • How it links into wider Defence initiatives
  • How it will help industry

08:20 Join

08:30 Welcome and Introduction

Richard Morgan, Operations Director, Nimbus Ninety

08:32 Army BattleLab Presentation

Major General Jez Bennett, Director Capability and the British Army's Innovation Champion

Brigadier Matt Cansdale, British Army Head of Future Force Development

09:10 Q&A

09:30 Discussion ends

In partnership with:

Army Innovation logo

Major General Jez Bennett CBE, Director Capability and the British Army's Innovation Champion

Maj Gen Jez Bennett CBE

Commissioned into the Gunners Major General Jez Bennett served initially in 3RHA, before returning to Sandhurst as a platoon commander. Two years on the Master of Defence Administration course and at Staff College led to the Resources & Plans area of the MOD, before returning to Regimental Duty with 1RHA in 2005. This included a UN tour in Cyprus and then to Iraq in 2007. A further tour at Sandhurst as company commander preceded a post in Army HQ Commitments, force generating the brigades deploying to Iraq and Afghanistan.

His command of 1RHA focused on a tour of Helmand in 2009/10. He then moved to Army Resources and Plans in MOD, and was appointed OBE in 2012. He was Commander 1st Artillery Brigade and HQ South West in 2014 before returning to London in April 2016 as Head of Capability Plans, in the Finance and Military Capability area of the MOD.

He was delighted to take on the role of Chief of Staff HQ Allied Rapid Reaction Corps (ARRC) in Dec 2018. In April 2019 he became the first Regimental Colonel Commandant of the Royal Artillery, acting as the link between the Master Gunner and the serving Regiment. In August 2019 he became Director of Capability for the British Army.

Brigadier Matt Cansdale MBE, British Army Head of Future Force Development

Brig Matt Cansdale MBE

Brig Cansdale commissioned into The Parachute Regiment in 1998. His time at Regimental Duty in 2 and 3 PARA was interspersed with operational commitments, deploying to Northern Ireland in 1998 and 2004, Sierra Leone in 2002, to Iraq for the invasion in 2003, and four times to Afghanistan in 2002, 2008, 2010/11 and 2014/15. He was Mentioned in Despatches following command of A Company 3 PARA in Southern Afghanistan in 2008 and made an MBE following command of the Brigade Reconnaissance Force in Helmand Province in 2010/11. He served as Commanding Officer 3 PARA 2015-16.

At Staff, Brig Cansdale served in the Defence Equipment and Support organization and as SO2 Leadership at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, where he was responsible for writing the British Army’s first leadership doctrine. Following Command, he served as Military Assistant to Commander Field Army. After service as Assistant Head Equipment Plans and a brief stint in Ground Manoeuvre he moved, in 2020, to be Head Future Force Development.  


This is a private event for members of our community. Membership is free and takes less than 5 minutes. As a member, you will have access to this and other complimentary events. Learn more.

This event is open to everyone in the MOD; and to members who are C-level, VPs, Directors, Heads and the drivers of live projects in other organisations.

Register to Attend