back to article MoD: Sci-tech strategy? Er, here's a bunch of words and diagrams

The UK Ministry of Defence has unveiled latest its science and technology strategy by writing a jargon-ridden report full of incomprehensible diagrams – but it contains good news for startups. In the Science and Technology Strategy 2017, which is supposed to underpin the £80m/year Defence Innovation Fund, the ministry’s chief …

  1. This post has been deleted by its author

  2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    ...get me out of here

    I think that diagram means "I'm a graphic artist. I'm still sitting here listening to what the clients want but I lost the will to live an hour ago. Maybe two."

  3. Starace

    I could tell you what it all means

    I suspect if I tried though I'd be wasting my time.

  4. Korev Silver badge

    Full marks....

    ...for making it even more realistic by taking the diagram and making it nice and blurry just like when people use a projector with a lower resolution than their computer's screen.

    "I'm sorry this slide doesn't project very well"

  5. Korev Silver badge


    "As one wag remarked to us upon seeing it: "This is why we're not allowed Visio any more.""

    A virtual pint for the "wag" ->

  6. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Stepping up to the Mark and onto the Plate with AI Shows for Bigger Picture Hitters

    We will also provide voluntary opportunities for developing relationships outside of the MOD with partner nations, including international defence markets, through engagement with the UK Defence Solutions Centre, and for adjacent UK sectors, with the Dual-Use Technology Exploitation programme. .... Defence and Security Accelerator Notice Updated 10 August 2017

    Hmmm ..... the following recent offer to Siemens is equally well booted and suited for SMARTR MOD Use and ZeroDay Exploitation ...... Of Henry IX .......... and Potent AI Meme Muses

    00ps....... on checking back there on El Reg, I notice the following vital qubit of information and intelligence is not recorded ....

    cc Siemens ... Here you can contact the Siemens Innovation Communications .....

    Stepping up to the Mark and onto the Plate

    Are Siemens researching Future Augmented Virtual Reality Programming of the Global Project?

    Please be advised of AIRunning Applications Securely at Play with Restful Works ...... Heavenly Tasks. :-) ........


    ..... from which you can receive ..... Thank you.

    We will contact you as soon as possible.

  7. Dan 55 Silver badge

    It's next level communication encryption

    Hostile states will never be able to decode its meaning.

  8. handleoclast


    Given what I can interpret from the diagram, Adversaries are in control of everything (they're at the top and a different colour from everything else).

    Those adversaries can be divided into two main groups:

    1) Allies & Partners

    2) Rest of Government.

    I'm having problems deciphering it further than that. "ARMY" appears to be somebody giving the emergency semaphore signal "I've just explosively shit my pants."

    It all revolves around drinking S&Ts (Smirnoff & Tonics, a vile drink).

    Encryption uses "industry primes," which are presumably the commercial variant of Mersenne primes.

    "Enablers" seem to be a free-fall parachutist display team, possibly not wearing parachutes.

    There is a faint dotted trace of Rutherford's planetary model of the atom, so technologically bang up to date.

    After that it all becomes too confusing.

  9. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    So that's what the 23 000 in MoD procurement and 1 consultant do.

    Sounds like a load of "Wulabrawonga*" to me.

    32 pages you say. That'll be about 31 pages more than I'm going to read.

    *Alegedly naitive Australian for sheep dip. Appropriate, give sheep dips are cousins of nerve gases.

  10. Cynic_999 Silver badge

    Originally it was crystal clear

    Then after the graphic artist had just finished finalising the original clear and simple graphic, several different people insisted on changing the specification at the last minute in order to justify their job. After which the graphic ended up being the same sort of mess as any other MOD specified product.

    Still, it's better than the usual MOD graphics where they spend £billions on a sheet of specialised A4 paper and then realise that they have just sold off all the ink that would have been capable of printing on it.

    1. EarthDog

      Re: Originally it was crystal clear


  11. Zmodem

    just the way money flows to different departments if one is successful, the others do their job, so you don't waste money on everyone working on something that might fail

  12. Captain DaFt

    I studied that chart carefully

    It says: "Baffle'em with bullshit!"

  13. Anonymous Coward

    My theory--its a British MoD PsyWar operation!!

    Step One: Release a bafflingly complex buzzword-afflicted PowerPoint deck

    Step Two: Those enemies of Britain who still think the MoD knows what it is doing make themselves crazy trying to derive meaning and clarity from this consultant-speak Rohrscach test.

    Step Three: Victory!

  14. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    "Hugh Durrant-Whyte"

    You are Steve Bong and I claim my £5

    As for "Disruptive technologies" isn't the F35's maintenance issues "disruptive" enough?

    1. Uncle Slacky Silver badge

      Re: "Hugh Durrant-Whyte"

      Nah, I know Hugh, he's a good egg. No idea how he got mixed up in all this, though!

  15. Kurt Meyer

    Harnessing Brit boffinry

    A splendid idea.

    I'd quite like to harness that boffin on the right hand side of the picture.

    1. Roj Blake

      Re: Harnessing Brit boffinry

      Which constituency are you the MP of?

  16. GrumpyKiwi

    Technological literacy

    I'm going to give an anecdote from when I was working at the MoD to show the kind of mindset you are dealing with when you deal with senior members of it.

    The branch I was contracting for had recently (six months ago) finished rolling out a brand new email system (Groupwise for anyone who cares) and I got dragged into the office of a senior member who proceeded to give me a lecture on how this system was rubbish and didn't work.

    I asked her what exactly wasn't working properly and was told that it was missing all sorts of people. Huh? So I asked for a demonstration. She proceeded to create a new email. "This is for Tom Watson* " I was told. She then clicked on the address book and started to scroll downwards through all the A's, the B's, the C's etc. towards W. Keep in mind that this was rather a large (some might even say massively overstaffed) organisation. Eventually - very eventually - we reached the WA's and sure enough there was no Tom Watson.

    I asked, why don't you just search for him and clicked on the search field then typed Tom W which sure enough came up with Tom Whatson - the correct spelling of his name no less.

    THAT'S NOT HOW IT WORKS I was told most firmly before being told to go away and fix it.

    *Not the actual name which has been forgotten with time and therapy but close enough for government work.

  17. tiggity Silver badge

    Relevant MOD text in am image

    That's not very helpful for your visually impaired readers.

    Was there some reason the text could not just be included as, well, text?

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  18. David Lewis 2

    Seems perfectly clear to me.

    Translation ...

    It will cost significantly more than estimated.

    It will take significantly longer than estimated.

    It will deliver significantly less than promised.

    It was ever thus.

  19. Andy The Hat Silver badge

    Missing the point

    This graphic diarrhea circumvents basic procurement processes. In times of yore they went something like:

    Buy guns AND buy ammunition

    Buy aircraft carriers AND buy working planes

    Buy anything AND have military personnel to use it.

    The new procurement methodology to save money does a search and replace of "AND" for "OR" which results in no planes, no personnel and no kit ...

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Never mind slagging off the incomprehensible clusterf**k of a diagram, I'm more interested in El Reg's Shutterstock image.

    Specifically, I want to know when Shutterstock are going to start paying their photographers decent enough rates that they can afford glass for their models' spectacle frames. (Seriously, every ****** time!)

    They're never going to be able to read the board with those...

  21. MT Field
    Thumb Up

    Still its good to see that things are far, far worse elsewhere.

  22. N2 Silver badge


    Looked like piles of drugs

    where do I sign?

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