New group formed to aid transformation of UK intelligence for Big Data age

Transforming UK intelligence for Big Data will top of the agenda of a new body to be officially launched in May.

The UK’s Intelligence Futures Group (IFG) has already scored a major ‘first’, by bringing senior intelligence analysts and expert academics under the one roof for an intensive one-day workshop at Liverpool Hope University. Intelligence personnel from 13 agencies attended the workshop, themed ‘What works in Intelligence?’, on Monday 3rd March. The academics will now support the analysts in conducting applied research to enable improved intelligence outcomes.

IFG will comprise personnel from government agencies and research centres at four universities: Liverpool Hope University, University of Buckingham, University of Leicester and University of Plymouth. The Centre for Applied Research in Security Innovation (CASI), which is led by Professor Michael Mulqueen, hosted the Liverpool workshop. The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) has designated each of the four as a Regional Centre of Expertise (RCE) for research and education in intelligence. The centres are already working together under the aegis of Police UK’s National Intelligence Model Working Group.

IFG will combine academic, practitioner and entrepreneurial expertise to tackle some of the enormous challenges to effective intelligence posed by Big Data, the phenomenon linked to advances in computer processing and storage power that has led to the creation of 90 per cent of the world’s information in the last two years. Its objectives will include: professionalisation of intelligence personnel for Big Data, support for organisations and leadership in change towards Big Data, innovation partnerships between intelligence, artistic and business organisations to prepare the UK for intelligence futures, workable ethical frameworks within which UK intelligence innovation can take place, and promotion of public understanding of intelligence.

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