August 10, 2022

The Percy Hobart Fellowship

The Percy Hobart Fellowship embraces innovation in science and technology, providing defence personnel with training to understand the powers and practicalities of new technologies.

Cohorts of the Fellowship
Percy Hobart Fellows
Innovation Projects


The PUBLIC School of Technology has delivered three cohorts of the Percy Hobart Fellowship where we’ve convened defence personnel in a unique learning environment to equip them with the skills and knowledge to champion innovation within a unified defence sector.


Startup Placement

The PUBLIC School of Technology secured for each fellow a 10 week immersion in a digital startup to gain first-hand experiences of a dynamic, innovative company as they apply new technologies, business models and working practices. Previous placement startups have included OLIO, Amplyfi, Red Sift, Tympa Health and CAURA.

Innovation Project

Fellows were given the opportunity to put their learnings into practice by developing an innovative solution to a problem they face in defence, including training, procurement, and mental health. At the end of the programme, they pitch their proposals to senior command to generate buy-in to take their proposal forward in real-time.


The PUBLIC School of Technology, recognising the considerable innovation work already underway across the MoD, used the ‘Discover’ phase to align the programme’s design principles and learning outcomes with the UK Government’s Integrated Review. The Royal Navy, RAF and US Navy were keen to ensure fellows returned to their ranks with a sophisticated awareness of the fundamentals of technology and entrepreneurship. Our startup ecosystem meant we could design a programme that delivered exactly that.


During the ‘Design’ phase, we translated our Discovery findings into the final curriculum designs, refining delivery planning to ensure learning content was truly tailored to the defence context with subjects including emerging technologies and their applications in defence, the importance of the end-user’s needs in defence and shifting traditional attitudes towards defence innovation.


Fellows gained 12 weeks of immersive education in technology and innovation, through a dynamic course made up of a startup placement, innovation project, seminars, workshops and a one-to-one coaching with our expert faculty. During PHF, Fellows were introduced to a diverse range of viewpoints, including the perspectives of innovation-focused entities such as the jHub and Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA), sessions led by serial entrepreneurs, as well as the challenges of running civilian-startups.


Understanding the MoD’s ambitions to ensure they continue to build a culture of boundaried risk-taking where defence personnel both embrace and feel a sense of ownership in innovation processes, policies and resources, we continued to iterate improvements of our delivery and taught content to maximise impact following graduation.

“The Fellowship has changed my mind about digital transformation – seeing technology developed and deployed quickly, effectively and with users at the centre of design across the public sector means I am no longer willing to accept ways of working that don’t embrace this mindset. We can do better and I'm optimistic we will succeed.”
“The Fellowship has shown me that by combining Mission Command and accountability with a startup’s flexibility and openness to change, we can harness a potent force for growth in an organisation that empowers its people to take risks, fail and iterate ideas without fear of reprimand - a vital end-state if we are serious about innovation in the UK Armed Forces.”
“The Percy Hobart Fellowship goes from strength to strength, taking RAF, Royal Navy, Royal Marines and US Navy personnel, developing their digital skills and immersing our people in the very latest in technology and innovation. I am immensely proud of all that the Fellows have achieved during their time in the programme, and look forward to seeing how they take their new skills forward as they return to the Service. My thanks go, once again, to PUBLIC for facilitating this programme, and to the tech startups which have so generously given of their time, to empower our people.”

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