Our Challenge Areas

The RBOC Network+ Model aligns with our three core objectives with activities designed to help us achieve success.

Our N+ is designed to function as a collaborative environment where co-creation, co-production, and impact are central to its success. Our focus is UK resilience in the face of potentially catastrophic incidents, but given the breadth of scope and diversity of potential expertise and knowledge, our activities are focused around a specific scenario: that of a human-initiated major incident in a smart city in the 2050s.

A well-structured, considered, and dynamic model of activities forms the basis of the N+ activities, enabling a multi- and interdisciplinary perspective, and aligning with our three core objectives. Activities will be centred around identifying and exploring broad Challenge Areas (CAs) that promote multidisciplinarity. It will be impossible to cover all challenges and risks within the life-cycle of the N+, so our intention is for our N+ to identify, develop, and refine the most important. Initially, we will develop seven CAs, each led by a member of the core management team to make sure the N+ is focused and to enhance our ability to maximise integration. While the CAs are likely to remain constant throughout the lifetime of the N+, the questions that they address will likely evolve through the RBOC N+ community meetups.  RBOC will have two challenge areas focusing on Responsible Innovation and Trusted Research, and Trust, Identity, Privacy and Security. The remaining challenge areas include:

Adversary Capabilities:

e.g., Who or what might want to cause us harm? How can advances in science and technology enable adversaries to threaten and disrupt the UK? What tools, and methods could be used to threaten, attack or exploit our vulnerabilities?

Our Capabilities:

e.g.  What technologies may be available by 2050 and how can they be exploited for protecting the UK?  How could we enhance the efficiency of casualty identification, location, transportation and triaging in the aftermath of the attack? How can we minimise additional effects through reliable, resilient and self-repairing systems? How do we ensure we reach casualties if connected and autonomous transportation networks are disrupted? How do we exploit multi-domain (semi) autonomous systems and what challenges will there be? 

Physical Environment:

e.g., How will cities work/not work in 2050? How will environmental challenges (including climate change) impact on preparation and response to incidents and how might they augment it? 

Societal Challenges:

e.g., How will whole-of-society resilience activities in 2050 support communities as they prepare for, and respond to, threats? How can communities and government provide mutual support during the response e.g. from behavioural science, identify impacts/vulnerabilities, combat misinformation? How do government support communities during recovery? How can we make Smart Cities more resilient before 2050? 

Responding and Decision Making:

e.g., How will organisations understand, communicate, and mitigate different security risks? How can they enhance resilience to attack in systems, organisations, people, protocols, processes, and support for recovery, damage assessment and mitigation? What will future resilience, emergency planning and civil contingency policies look like? And how can responders coordinate efforts and information to be resilient through technological interoperability and uncertainty?  

Data, Information and Communications Infrastructure:

e.g., How can we detect threats? how can we get information and share it effectively? how should we communicate to minimise risk? What will future communication infrastructure likely be in 2050? What data might be used for preparing and responding to incidents in 2050? What would the optimal infrastructure look like? How do we get real time information to responders? How can we use multi-domain platforms for real time response data and information and longer term recovery and resilience?