Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl)

Single Intelligence Environment: Improving Intelligence Support to Targeting

Incomplete applications

6
Incomplete applications
3 SME, 3 large

Completed applications

22
Completed applications
10 SME, 12 large
Important dates
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Published Friday 18 August 2017
Deadline for asking questions Friday 25 August 2017 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications Friday 1 September 2017 at 11:59pm GMT

Overview

Overview
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Summary of the work MOD intends to develop a “Single Intelligence Environment” to enable better decision making across Defence. This task is the third in a series showing how MOD might achieve parts of this. It will involve development of web-applications, analysis services and workflows designed to provide intelligence support of targeting.
Latest start date Monday 2 October 2017
Expected contract length 31 March 2018
Location South West England
Organisation the work is for Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl)
Budget range £250k-£300k

About the work

About the work
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Why the work is being done The MOD wishes to understand how it can improve the management and use of intelligence information in future. A demonstrator is being built to assess certain ways of doing this. This includes improved integration, discovery, fusion and analysis of a broad range of information sources. It needs to work well for the analysts involved in these processes as well as users making decisions on outputs. Finally it needs to be open, flexible and rapidly adaptable to future changes. A final demonstration is planned for March 2018. If successful, this research will inform future procurement of the Single Intelligence Environment.
Problem to be solved MOD needs to be able to share intelligence observations, collaboratively create and collate knowledge about Objects of Interest (people, facilities, etc.) based on observations, and disseminate intelligence products to decision makers. Dstl has created a concept and open architecture to address these problems and others have provided certain core parts of the architecture. We now need to develop web-applications, analytical services and workflows to work with existing components to provide and an end-to-end implementation for a particular use-case – "intelligence support to targeting". Dstl needs support to flesh out this use-case into detailed software requirements and demonstrate a working system.
Who the users are and what they need to do For the demonstrator, there will only be a small number of users (less than 10), but the principles used should be scalable to more users (potentially 1000s in some areas). There are two groups of users. Intelligence-Analysts (J2/A2/N2/G2) need to be able to discover and fuse information relevant to the identification and development of potential targets. Decision-makers (J3/A3/N3/G3) need to be able to easily access the products of intelligence analysis in a way which is easy for them to use and understand to make targeting decisions. An existing contractor team will perform experimentation using the software from this task.
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done A Provisional Open Architecture specification has been developed and will be made available to shortlisted bidders. Core parts of this architecture have been developed by 2 teams of contractors and deployed onto an in-house VMWare environment. This includes a workflow system that exchanges data serialised in JSON-LD , searchable observation-stores, a Knowledge-Base for storing inter-linked propositions accessed via a GraphQL interface , a suite of RESTful services and some applications supporting manual and automated analysis. A further service supports the automated, on-demand, retrieval of propositions relevant to building particular intelligence products (to be rendered for human consumption by to-be-developed web-applications).
Existing team There is a small core Dstl team coordinating and directing all activities. One team of contractors has completed its tasking to provide some core parts of the architecture. A second team remains which has developed other core parts of the architecture, and whose primary responsibility going forward is to conduct user-experimentation both with the existing core parts and using the parts to be provided by this competition. (Experimentation on the targeting use case is planned for Feb 2018 – hence the development part of this activity must complete by end of Jan 2018.)
Current phase Discovery

Work setup

Work setup
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Address where the work will take place Primarily at Dstl Porton Down, Salisbury, SP4 0JQ, but optionally some working at our Fort Halstead (Kent) or Portsdown West (near Portsmouth) sites could be arranged if more convenient to the supplier.
Working arrangements It is expected that the supplier will be able to do some of the development work offsite. The services and tools developed will need to be deployed onto our local standalone VMware environment and used with Secret data, which would require some working at our core site. It may be possible to provide some access to a lower classification version of that VMware environment from the supplier’s site.
We anticipate some initial development and integration testing remotely then move to the higher classification environment for testing/refinement with user-feedback and classified data.
Security clearance Suppliers must have, or will need as a minimum SC clearance.

Additional information

Additional information
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Additional terms and conditions DEFCON 76 (EDN 12/06); DEFCON 501 (EDN 05/17) – (NOTE ONLY TO BE USED WHEN INTERPRETING THE DEFCONS); DEFCON 531 (EDN 11/14); DEFCON 608 (EDN 10/14) ; DEFCON 611 (EDN 02/16); DEFCON 649 (EDN 12/16); DEFCON 659A (EDN 02/17); DEFCON 660 (EDN 12/15); DEFCON 703 (EDN 08/13).FULL TEXT VERSIONS OF THE DEFCONS CAN BE FOUND ON THE ACQUISITION SYSTEM GUIDANCE (ASG): HTTPS://WWW.GOV.UK/ACQUISITION-OPERATING-FRAMEWORK.
Bidders involved in any previous contract relating to this work need to demonstrate measures to ensure independence.
Software developed under this task shall: a) conform to the Provisional Open Architecture Specification; b) be provided with source code.

Skills and experience

Buyers will use the essential and nice-to-have skills and experience to help them evaluate suppliers’ technical competence.

Skills and experience
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Essential skills and experience
  • Have demonstrable experience of successful software development using pragmatic AGILE methodologies and practices.
  • Experience of successful development of software that interfaces with software provided by other industry/government partners working together towards shared goals.
  • Have demonstrable experience of an expert level of web-application development skills (state which web-framework(s) used).
  • Have demonstrable experience of an expert level development of REST-based services.
  • Experience of working with JSON
  • Experience of successfully working on Research and Development activities
  • Experience of using Linux operating environments
  • Experience of helping to define and refine requirements
  • Experience of software development on classified projects, including handling of data up to Secret
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • An understanding of the Intelligence domain and the roles of intelligence analysts
  • An understanding of Intelligence support to Targeting
  • Experience of developing effective user interfaces
  • Experience of working with Linked data
  • Experience of working with JSON-LD
  • Experience of working with Graph-QL
  • Experience of working with Docker Containers

How suppliers will be evaluated

How suppliers will be evaluated
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
How many suppliers to evaluate 5
Proposal criteria
  • Technical Approach
  • How the approach will flexibly support a research environment by accommodating changes and the refinement of requirements
  • How the approach will support Dstl's goals
  • How you've identified risks and dependencies and offered approaches to manage them
  • Team Structure
  • Value for Money
Cultural fit criteria
  • Work as a team with Dstl and other suppliers
  • Be transparent and collaborative when making decisions
  • Have a no-blame culture that encourages people to learn from their mistakes
  • Share knowledge and experience with other team members
  • Used to working with classified data
Payment approach Capped time and materials
Assessment methods
  • Written proposal
  • Work history
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence

50%

Cultural fit

20%

Price

30%

Questions asked by suppliers

Questions asked by suppliers
Supplier question Buyer answer
1. Will Dstl/MOD be willing to clear people to SC in support of them working on this task or must the proposed resources already hold SC or above clearance? Clearances are required by the announced latest start date.
2. Do all staff working offsite need valid UK security clearances? Yes
3. Thank you for this opportunity, it looks really interesting. We have a few questions: 1) Could you elaborate on the IPR requirements: a) I notice that DEFCON 703 is cited - does this cover any/all IP generated through the course of the project. b) Is there any expectation that existing IPR be shared/surrendered to the client or to the existing team? Yes, DEFCON 703 covers all IP generated under the project. There is no expectation that, where existing IPR is used it will be surrendered to the client.
4. 2) Do our proposals need to be standalone projects? Or is there an opportunity for the client to match make between proposals to build a team of collaborators, each of which will be responsible for parts of the whole. Only a single award may be made.
5. 3) The requirement as stated seems very broad. Can you elaborate on the requirement? a) Is a comprehensive Intelligence Analysis and Exploitation ‘package’ expected? b) If so, can you enumerate the ‘broad range of information sources’ that are mentioned or state what types of data are involved e.g. text, video, speech, etc.? c) Or, would you accept proposals for specific parts of a broader system that could be integrated as part of the whole? The requirement will be elaborated after contract award with the support of the successful bidder. The range of information sources available and relevant will be determined at this stage. It is not the purpose of this contract to advance the state of the art of Single-INT analysis - the focus is on multi-INT. Therefore the inputs will not be raw sensor data but data which has been analysed to some extent to produce "observations" expressed in free-text or structured data formats. (An "observation" here refers to something of interest that has been observed or extracted automatically from raw data.
6. 4) Is the Open Architecture available for us to consider while developing our proposals? (As stated in the announcement) The Provisional Open Architecture Specification will be provided to short-listed companies only. (It is Official-Sensitive.)
7. Can the Provisional Open Architecture Specification be provided? (As stated in the announcement) The Provisional Open Architecture Specification will be provided to short-listed companies only. (It is Official-Sensitive.)
8. Could you please confirm if offsite (supplier site) could be any location The task requires some on-site working but some of the work can be done off-site. The off-site working can be at any location that has Internet access