Enabling infrastructure and buildings to better withstand biochemical threats

Director of DBG Defence Hamish de Bretton-Gordon gave a confidential presentation to acumen7 members today on current threats to bio-security. Hamish covered where the threats are perceived to be coming from, and how we can enable our infrastructure and buildings to better withstand them. Hamish has served and volunteered in conflict zones around the world and unearthed evidence of multiple chemical attacks in the current Syrian conflict. He continues to advise the Government at the highest level, including after the 2018 Novichok poisoning in Salisbury. Hamish was formerly a British Army officer for 23 years and commanding officer of the UK’s Joint Chemical, Biological and Nuclear Regiment and NATO’s Rapid Reaction CBRN Battalion. Hamish is the author of Chemical Warrior.


The Impact of Brexit on UK Supply Chains: A Primer

acumen7 member Mike Branigan, who is also the Senior Operating Partner for DBAY Advisers and NED for Eddie Stobart, gave a detailed overview of the impact of Brexit on UK supply chains, covering the effects of the collision of Brexit and Covid-19, an overview of the Brexit challenges, and the key factors for importing, exporting and haulage/freight forwarding organisations. The detailed presentation also explored post-Brexit critical success factors and the current impact on inventory management dynamics. For more information on DBAY Advisors, visit: https://www.dbayadvisors.com/. For more information on Eddie Stobart, visit: https://eddiestobart.com/


Probably the greatest military unit you’ve never heard of…

At acumen7’s virtual Christmas cocktail party, the guest speaker Colonel Gary Sullivan OBE gave an informative overview of The Staff Corps, which is a part of the Royal Engineers in the British Army Reserve. The Staff Corps is intended to provide advisers on engineering and logistics to the British Army at a senior level. Following its work creating the NHS Nightingale Hospitals the Corps was described as ‘probably the greatest military unit you’ve never heard of. Established in 1865, the current officers are mainly chief executives, directors and senior managers of 60 different engineering, transport and logistics organisations, which together employ 100,000 people. As well as explaining the background to The Staff Corps, Gary also gave overview of operations it has been involved with including the NHS Nightingale Hospitals, the forthcoming mass vaccination programme, the Beirut Port recovery and Whaley Bridge.

The UK ventilator challenge and what’s happening in the aerospace sector

Nick Goss, Lead Project Engineer at GKN Aerospace gave an overview of the UK Ventilator Challenge to assist with the current increase in use during the pandemic. Nick also spoke about what’s happening in the UK aerospace sector, what’s planned for the future, the importance of STEM in education and the value of apprenticeships compared with uni education and info on the eVTOL project. 

For more information on GKN Aerospace, visit: https://www.gknaerospace.com/.



An environmentally friendly ordnance clearance service

Andrew Woollven is a former Royal Navy Commander with 30 years’ experience as a Diving and Mine Clearance Specialist. Andrew is the Founder and MD of EODEX, a new British maritime explosive clearance business using military principles, specialists and equipment to deliver a different innovative approach to commercial underwater unexploded ordnance (UXO) clearance. EODEX is in a global partnership with Alford Technologies, who design specialist explosive tools and cutting systems primarily for military applications and currently supply systems to the RN, USN and 15 other nations. Andrew explained how there is enormous potential to bring this innovative technology to the commercial world, to provide a completely new approach to underwater UXO disposal he believes will transform the offshore wind and cable market, as it is not only the right thing to do from an environmental standpoint, but it also makes very good business sense.

For more information on EODEX, visit: https://www.linkedin.com/company/eodexgroup/


Building the NHS Nightingale Hospital in nine days

acumen7 member Gary Sullivan is also the Commanding Officer at The Staff Corps 77th Brigade and Chairman of Wilson James. Gary specialises in Construction Logistics, Security, Supply Chain Development and Regeneration, and has over 30 years’ experience in the planning and operation of the logistics of complex critical infrastructure projects. In addition, Gary has served in the British Army and worked for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Gary helped to develop Wilson James from a standing start and they currently have 5,000 employees. Gary gave a confidential presentation around the transformation of the ExCeL into the new NHS Nightingale Hospital, which happened in just nine days.

For more information on The Staff Corps 77th Brigade, visit: https://www.army.mod.uk/who-we-are/formations-divisions-brigades/6th-united-kingdom-division/77-brigade/groups/

For more information on Wilson James, visit: https://wilsonjames.co.uk/