Introducing BMT – the latest partner to join the ISST Innovation Ecosystem

Earlier this year we welcomed BMT as the latest industry partner in the ISST Innovation Ecosystem.

BMT is an international design, engineering, technology and risk management consultancy . With a broad and deep range of expertise, BMT operates across multiple markets including Shipping, Defence, Security, Environment and Infrastructure.

Max Swinscow-Hall recently caught up with Alan Hodgson – Security, Policing and Justice Lead at BMT – to learn more about what they offer and how they are planning to get involved with the ecosystem.


What is BMT’s mission and how do you achieve this?

Our mission is to provide clarity from complexity; working with our customers to turn their complex projects into clear thinking and groundbreaking solutions.

We achieve this by providing independent technical expertise and consultancy. We offer Defence and Security Acquisition and Customer Friend support, Maritime Design and Consultancy, Asset Monitoring and Sustainment, Environmental and Climate Solutions to our global customer base.

Our specific areas of expertise within Security and Technology include:

  • Agile Software Design and Delivery
  • Advanced Data Analytics and Insight
  • Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
  • Cyber Security Services
  • Digital and Business Transformation
  • Change Management
  • Strategic Delivery Partnerships


Who does BMT typically work with and how can academia engage with BMT

BMT works with a range of defence customers — such as the UK Ministry of Defence, Dstl, Defence Digital, the Front Line Commands and industry suppliers  — and security customers including the Metropolitan Police Service, Counter Terrorism Policing HQ, National Crime Agency, Home Office (including the Accelerated Capability Environment) and the Ministry of Justice.

BMT has a strong and diverse academic engagement portfolio across the UK. We do not limit ourselves to a small number of institutions but instead strive to create networks across academia linking together the best individuals and centres of excellence. This is one of the reasons we were so keen to join the Imperial Institute for Security Science and Technology; their expertise in both defence and security is something that sets them apart.

We have found recently that our defence and security customers increasingly value the academic viewpoint and perspective when completing exploratory or innovative projects. We are always keen to work with academia both on structured course-based research programmes and through collaborative project work.


What projects have you been involved with recently?

We’re proud to have provided the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) with essential management consultancy services since 2016; we’ve become the Met’s trusted advisor for their transformation portfolio, a £1bn capital investment that delivers £450m-£650m in operational savings each year to ensure that the Met continues to be the world’s leading police force and that London is the safest global city.

An important example of these efforts is “One Met Model 2020” – a major initiative to equip officers with the skills, tools and approach to police London effectively in the digital age. It’s a substantial, long-term change designed to introduce more efficient ways of working to deliver a better service to the public. However, the Met faced a challenge in that they lacked sufficiently qualified and experienced managers to run the necessary programmes and projects.

In order to help them meet that challenge, we provided Programme Managers, Project Managers and Senior Project Managers operating at senior levels of the organisation to deliver projects. Our consultants also worked closely with existing MPS programme managers to coach and train them, improving their capabilities and ensuring consistent standards across the service.

By developing and delivering business cases, introducing project artefacts to improve management, leading the delivery of effective dependency management and providing much-needed leadership to complex projects and programmes, our work has been instrumental in helping the MPS to successfully deliver this major transformation.

We have successfully worked on other novel and complex change programmes across multiple domains. As a business we have benefitted hugely from experience delivering large scale, complex security programmes and we have supported a range of Security, Intelligence and Law Enforcement Agencies.


How have you seen COVID-19 impacting the security and defence?

Even before COVID-19, the defence, security and policing landscape was complex but also constantly changing with budgets being stretched. All services are having to become more resilient, responsive and agile. An increasing dependency on data and digital technologies is at the heart of ongoing reform and modernisation. COVID has helped to accelerate this change but also poses a range of future budgetary risks and uncertainties.

Like many other government departments, the defence and security sector is becoming  more effective and more efficient by transforming support services, reducing estate costs, reducing management overheads, increasing frontline productivity, replacing core systems, removing unnecessary bureaucracy and developing new capabilities to meet emerging demands.

Our recent Focus magazine on the topic of Digital Transformation goes into more detail about these changes and what organisations can do, in practice, to respond to this – turning the buzz word of “Digital Transformation” into actionable steps as part of a 10 step process.


As we move towards an increased reliance on digital platforms, a range of broader cyber security risks are also raised. How is BMT working to reduce this cyber security threat?

We recognise the vital importance of cyber security, especially in the current COVID-19 world where we have seen a rise the number and frequency of attacks. To help our customers counter this threat and mitigate their risks, we have a dedicated cyber security consulting team here at BMT.

Our blended team of cyber security experts, data scientists and software developers help organisations reduce risks and improve resilience by developing their capacity to identify threats, protect assets and detect cyber events.

  1. Identify – We work with our customers to help them identify security and information risks. We offer business–driven advice on how they can best manage and mitigate these risks throughout the project life cycle.
  2. Protect – We help our customers protect their critical assets by transforming their cyber security. Our consulting services and cyber solutions reduce the impact of possible cyber security threats by using best practices for data protection and security.
  3. Detect – Our cyber security consultants apply their expertise in machine learning, data science, data modelling and analytics to help our clients detect known and unknown cyber events.

The cyber threat is constantly evolving and maturing and therefore so must the security solutions. We are always looking for new ways to tackle current and future cyber threats and so are keen to work with academia to explore potential solutions.


What attracted you to joining the Ecosystem and how do you see BMT playing a part?

The ecosystem has already got a brilliant reputation for bringing together the golden triangle of industry, academia and government in one forum to talk about disruptive technologies and turn ideas for change into reality.

We are very keen to play an active role in the ecosystem and hope that we will have a chance to contribute thought leadership and work together in a range of joint research projects. We are especially excited to hear about the ISST-organised conferences and hope to use this as a chance to talk about our internal research programmes. We are also hopeful that through membership of the ecosystem it will bring us closer to the students at Imperial College London, using this engagement as part of our continuous search for new talent.

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