Programme THEIA

British Army Digital Transformation Conference

Wednesday 25 January 2023 │ 09:30-18:30 │ The Cavalry and Guards Club, London, W1J 7PX
In partnership with
     British Army-1   

A key part of the Army’s modernisation programme is its Digital Transformation Programme, Programme THEIA, which is at the heart of the British Army Land Operating Concept and Army Operating Model.

It also seeks to improve the Army’s integration with industry, partners, and allies, underpin its ambitions to be a significant contributor to HMG’s Global Britain strategy, and deliver an “asymmetric Army for the Digital Age”.

Programme THEIA’s objectives are to:

  • Change digital culture and behaviours, equipping people with digital skills, and
    promote new digital ways of working
  • Integrate all information from command and control, intelligence, sensors, effectors
    and platforms across domains, partners and allies
  • Deliver better data and enabling better operational and corporate competitiveness,
    efficiency and effectiveness.

Following on from our Programme THEIA webinar, attend this THEIA
conference to:

  • Take part in workshops on emerging tech with leaders from Defence and industry
  • Help shape the Army's approaches and solve cross-industry problems
  • Receive the latest updates and insights on Programme THEIA, the Land CEMA programme, and the Defence context, and participate in Q&A
  • Network with decision makers and key stakeholders from Defence and industry

09:30 Registration and networking

10:00 Admin and Opening Remarks

Richard Morgan, Founder, Chief Disruptor Defence

10:10 Opening keynote

Major General John Collyer, Director Information and CIO, British Army

10:50 Break into workshop groups

11:00 Workshops 1 and 2

  • Future adoption of hyperscale cloud: Is it the silver bullet for Defence?
  • Digital Skills Landscape: Recruitment and retention in Defence

12:30 Networking lunch

13:30 Keynote: The Land Cyber and Electromagnetic Activities (CEMA) Programme

Charlotte Luks, Head Cyber and Security, British Army

14:10 Coffee break and networking

14:40 Workshops 3 and 4

  • Data Accessibility & Ownership: The integrity behind the scenes
  • Cyber Security: From Barrier to Business enabler - Secure by design approach

16:10 Break

16:20 Programme THEIA update and insights

Brigadier Stefan Crossfield, Head of IX, CDO, Principal AI Officer, British Army

17:00 Closing keynote: Strategic update and insights

Charlie Forte, CIO, Ministry of Defence

17:40 Closing remarks

17:50 Networking drinks


Hear from:

Maj Gen John Collyer-1

Major General John Collyer, Director Information & Chief Information Officer, British Army

Major General Collyer was educated at Ermysted’s Grammar School in North Yorkshire and Welbeck Sixth Form College before commissioning into the Royal Signals. His early service was spent at Regimental Duty in Battlegroup, Brigade, Division, Corps and Joint Force formations and with Other Government Departments.

Following Junior and Initial Command and Staff courses, Major General Collyer commanded at Squadron and Regimental level and subsequently Joint Forces Cyber Group and 1st (United Kingdom) Signal Brigade. His staff appointments have included the MOD Operations Directorate, Defence Intelligence, Army Headquarters, Headquarters Allied Rapid Reaction Corps and the United States Security Coordinator HQ. In the deployed arena, he has operated in the Balkans, Iraq, Afghanistan and the Occupied Palestinian Territories. He holds a 1st Class Information Systems Engineering Degree with honours and a Masters in Defence Studies from King’s College London.

Following an assignment as Head Strategy, Capability and Development in the Army HQ Information Directorate, he was appointed the Army HQ’s Director of Information and Chief Information Officer in October 2021.


Charlotte Luks, Head of Cyber and Security, British Army

Charlotte spent two years in the Houses of Parliament as a researcher for a Government minister. After moving into the Civil Service, Charlotte took up a role in the Data Protection and Cyber Security directorate in DCMS, during which she also held responsibility for coordinating the Government's response to major cyber-attacks and data breaches.

In the very early stages of the pandemic, Charlotte was joined the Department of Health and worked in coordination with 102 Logistics Brigade to establish and run the UK’s Mobile Testing capability. She then went on to oversee the operations of all of the UK’s COVID test sites and 50k strong ground crews. Charlotte then moved t the Cabinet Office as the Deputy Director with responsibility for Vaccines and Therapeutics.

Following the pandemic crisis response, Charlotte now returns to the cyber security space in the role of Head of Cyber and Security in Army HQ.


Stef Crossfield

Brigadier Stefan Crossfield, Head of Information Exploitation, Chief Data Officer, Principal AI Officer, British Army

Following attendance at Sandhurst Brig Stefan Crossfield was commissioned in to the REME in 1992. His initial assignment as a Lieutenant Colonel saw him working for Director Force Development ahead of the SDSR and then join the core Army 2020 team for 10 months.

Brig Crossfield took command of 6 Armoured Close Support Battalion REME in 2012 just before Op HERRICK 18. On his return he was selected for promotion to Colonel and temporarily acted as DCOS 3 (UK) Division.

Brig Crossfield has more recently delivered the narrative describing the military offer as COS to DPers and completed an Academic External Placement at Exeter University securing an MBA with Distinction in 2018. He served as DACOS YELLOWHAMMER in Jan 2019, completed a short tenure as DACOS Current Plans in HQ Home Command and upon promotion to Brigadier joined Army HQ as Head Information Exploitation (IX) in late 2020. As Hd IX, Brig Crossfield also fulfils the roles of CDO and Principal AI Officer for the British Army.

Brig Crossfield is a Chartered Engineer and a Fellow of the Institute of Mechanical Engineers. He is also a Chartered Manager and has a Masters Degree in Information Systems. 


Charlie Forte

Charlie Forte, Chief Information Officer, Ministry of Defence

Charlie has 38 years industry experience gained from leading IT globally as Deputy Group Global CIO at BP, as CEO of Global IT Services at Prudential and as Interim CIO at Thames Water. He has worked as an independent consultant helping businesses transform their ability to exploit digital technology.

Charlie Forte was appointed the Chief Information Officer for the Ministry of Defence in January 2018. He is the primary advisor to the Defence Board on Information and Digital and is responsible for strategy and policy on the exploitation, operation, interoperability and protection of information and digital technology across the Ministry of Defence. This includes cyber security and resilience; the promotion of new ways of working, information technology-enabled innovation; and the delivery of effective IT services. Charlie is a member of the Defence Executive Committee and the Strategic Command Executive Committee.


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