The MIITTE Team

Who We Are

MIITTE is a Ministry of Defence (MOD) initiative run by the Defence Science & Technology Laboratory (Dstl). The research is looking into how, when and where VR, AR and MR (collectively known as XR) is best used in training and education. The findings will be used to provide guidance to the MOD.

The research is a collaborative effort. MIITTE combines the talents of start-ups, SMEs, industry partners, and academia to deliver a wide variety of research.

As well as continuing to work with proven partners, part of MIITTE’s strategy is to expand, diversify and develop non-traditional defence suppliers. That could mean you.

Can you help
representing team photo

Collaboration is at our core

Join our Community of Practice

Our aim is to enhance and sustain the technical capabilities available to Dstl by promoting relationships with a wide range of companies and establishments.

Our Community of Practice (COP) provides a platform to share knowledge that underpins capability across the entire supplier network and unlocks collaborative value.

Joining the SERAPIS-SSE COP provides the following benefits:

1.

Open to any supplier with demonstrable and relevant capability

2.

No fees to join

3.

COP members receive quarterly updates on research activities through a combination of newsletters and conference events

4.

Membership gives you visibility of customer requirements and opportunities to get involved

5.

Every six months, COP members receive a briefing from active projects on the work undertaken

6.

Conference events allow for supplier, MoD and Dstl networking

7.

Funding opportunities are fed directly to COP members

I’m ready to register Pitch your idea
group around table

The process

Pitch Your Idea

The MIITTE team will be running a Dragons’ Den style pitch panel in January 2021. We are looking to fund small research tasks. The tasks are to be no more than six months in duration, and should advance our understanding of the effectiveness of XR for training and education through empirical evidence.

You are invited to pitch by submitting a Task Abstract by the 3rd of January. Your abstract should summarise the idea and its relevance to MIITTE research in no more than 250 words.

Selected suppliers will be invited to pitch their idea in front of a panel between 27th and 28th January 2021. Only submissions presented on this date will be considered for funding.

All information you provide to us as part of your pitch, that is not already available to us from other sources, will be handled in confidence. It will only be used for the purposes of this competition. It won’t be used for other purposes, without us having obtained the necessary rights and permissions to do so.

MIITTE Scope and Objectives

MIITTE’s role is to develop evidence-backed guidance on the use of Virtual, Augmented and Mixed Reality to ensure that defence and security personnel develop the right knowledge, skills and attitudes.

To generate this evidence-based guidance MIITTE is conducting a wide range of activity. This includes conducting human participant trials, developing guidelines and frameworks, and finding ways to ensure that advice and recommendations are accessible by military personnel when needed. To enable these activities MIITTE sometimes produces proof-of-concept XR trainers, but does not develop training systems to be used outside of experimentation.

It should also be noted that while “Immersive Technologies” in the MIITTE title suggests any technology which adds some level of realism to training, MIITTE is primarily concerned with the use of head-mounted displays. CAVE and other non-headset systems are out of scope. The only exception to this is where technology could be considered a game-changer, is potentially disruptive, or where it adds to the XR experience (such as haptic vests).

Evidence Gaps

There are significant gaps in the evidence base and of particular interest are ideas that fall into the following categories:

  • Training for experts and experienced personnel: The vast majority of the experimental evidence in training focuses on novices. MIITTE is interested in how XR might be used to support consolidation and learning for those with previous knowledge of the subject matter.
  • Decision making and judgement: Many of the tactics, techniques and procedures the military use require judgement in application. The identified evidence contains limited examples of XR training to improve decision making and judgement.
  • Retention: Many studies focus on the benefits of XR approaches to learning either directly or shortly after experiencing the learning content. MIITTE would like to understand whether training with XR causes better retention.
  • Multi-user training: The majority of evidence covers individual user training and hence MIITTE is interested in understanding the utility of XR for team/group/organisation training.
  • Remote training: The MIITTE team would like to gather evidence for using XR for remote training. This includes students using the capability when away from the training facility and also the ability for the instructor or specialist users to be remote.
  • Training hard-to-train skills: The MIITTE team would like to understand where XR can be used to improve training effectiveness in cases where training could not otherwise be carried out safely/effectively in any other way.
  • XR for instructors: The MIITTE team would like evidence that demonstrates the effectiveness of XR for supporting instruction, either through facilitating instruction or aiding assessment.
  • Open call: The MIITTE team also welcome any ideas within scope of MIITTE.

Pitch Inclusions

Pitches will be delivered via remote video conference. You can use the “Shared Screen” facility to support their pitch with a relevant presentation, video or imagery etc. You will also be encouraged to submit supporting material ahead of the pitch to avoid any unforeseen technical issues (although nothing should be shared other than that which is intended to be included in the pitch presentation). Pitches should include:

  • The outline of the idea
  • How the idea supports MIITTE research
  • The proposed deliverables
  • The indicative funding sought

Your pitch should last no more than 10 minutes. After your pitch there will be a 5-minute Q&A session where the panel may ask for any clarifications they need to help them make a decision. These timings will be enforced to ensure that all ideas are given equal consideration. The panel will not provide advice or guidance to pitching organisations.

There is no guarantee that any ideas will be taken forwards after the Pitch Panel, but funding has been put aside, and the highest scoring pitches will be considered for funding.

Assessment Criteria

Pitches will be assessed based on:

  • Desirability: Does the idea address a problem relevant to MIITTE? Does the idea open up additional benefits and prospects beyond the stated scope?
  • Feasibility: Is the research deliverable in the timescales and budget available? Is there a good chance of the research achieving its objectives? It is however acknowledged that research can deliver unexpected learning outcomes.
  • Value for Money: Does the pitch make clear how the idea represents good Value for Money?

Previous Winning Bids

Perception Engineering

The proposal: XR gives us the ability to control exactly what the user sees. This provides the potential to add visual cues within the training scenario to change learner’s behaviour and improve their performance, but what kind of cues best enhance learning ? To answer this question a VR training demonstrator will be developed with a perception engineered training scenario based around a procedural task. The demonstrator will be used to conduct a human participant trial to show how effective these VR-adapted principles are.

Why we were interested:

  • The Use Case relates to a broad class of training (procedural tasks) relevant to the MOD.
  • The research will provides guidance on how to best use the unique aspects of VR for training, specifically the ability to adapt the virtual environment to improve learning outcomes.
  • Better training not only improves outcomes, but also often means shorter training times and less people failing courses. This ultimately leads to more cost-effective training.
  • This research builds on theoretical research conducted by the supplier which improves the likelihood of a successful study.
  • The research includes human participant trials, this higher quality of evidence provides greater confidence in the validity of the outcome.

VR for “Hard-to-train tasks”

The proposal: VR is often seen as a potential solution for training tasks that are dangerous, complex, have variation, or are expensive, but why? The decision-making process about “whether VR is the right solution” is critical. This study will develop a conceptual framework that captures the concepts that determine the success of adopting VR for hard-to-train skills. This study will combine a systematic review of the extant literature with analysis and review of relevant case study examples. The output aims to create “intelligent and informed” users of VR, improve decision making about VR adoption, and thus improve the efficacy of the VR tools.

Why we were interested:

  • This study has a focus on hard-to-train tasks, which is a known gap in our evidence base.
  • The academic literature gives us confidence in its general applicability, and use cases help relate the research to genuine military applications.
  • May provide indications on where VR may be particularly useful.
  • Provides a decision framework that can be used outside of the MIITTE task for the benefit of a wide range of MOD users.
  • Provides support to the procurement process.
VR headset

Find out more about the COP and/or submit an idea

Register Your Interest

To find out more about MIITTE and the SERAPIS-SSE Community of Practice please register your details below. If you have an idea and would like to pitch, please enter your abstract. We also welcome links to supporting information such as videos, images and presentation material.

* These fields are mandatory.

By clicking "Send" you are agreeing for us to contact you using the above Personal Data you have provided. This information will not be used for marketing purposes, we will only contact you with regards to your enquiry. If you would like further information please review our Privacy Policy.