A View From The Heston Science Park
A note from The AFCEA International Regional Vice President for Western Europe
Over the years, there have been a few updates on AFCEA UK written by previous UK Regional Vice Presidents. I remember a former RN Captain writing “A View from the Bridge” and a Cavalry Army Colonel writing his “View from the Saddle”. I thought as that the current RVP, I should do something similar. I am ex MoD, but not retired military, so I thought that I would write my update from the heart of “The Heston Science Park” – aka the office at the end of my garden.
At the time of writing, we are in our fifth week of lockdown, as we manage the challenges and unknowns of COVID-19. While things are far from normal, I hope that you are all managing to stay safe and well. There’s been a lot of change – whether that’s adjusting to new ways of working, getting to grips with new routines at home, or spending more time with loved ones – albeit virtually. I wanted to keep you updated on what’s happening within AFCEA UK.
As you will remember from last Summer’s Anniversary celebrations at Royal Holloway, AFCEA has had a presence in the UK for over 65 years. Who knew on that balmy summer evening, that our ability to conduct any normal “business” would be challenged more in the last few weeks than at any other time during the whole of those 65 years? All regular UK Chapter monthly meetings have had to be cancelled and the London Chapter’s Flagship TriCyCIS 2020 Cyber Conference and Dinner has been postponed by 12 months to 24th June 2021. We will review the status of monthly meetings during the summer months and, hopefully, we will be able to resume in September. However, this all depends on whether there is a significant relaxation on the lockdown and social distancing instructions from UK Government.
Notwithstanding all of that, I know that the individual UK Chapter Committees are still meeting virtually, in order maintain some momentum and to discuss and plan what we might be able to offer electronically to our members and guests over the next weeks and months.
The AFCEA International website has a wealth of resources available to members at https://www.afcea.org/site/Resources, but as the RVP, I would also like to see us being able to create a similar repository of information on our own AFCEA UK website, that is more aligned to the UK / Europe (and with UK spellings!).
That’s where you come in! If you have any technical papers that you think would be of interest to other members of the AFCEA UK Community (and beyond) and are willing to share, please let us know. In line with our ethos of maintaining our independence, we won’t accept overt corporate advertorials. We would like to encourage items on new capabilities or developments, or maybe re-purposing existing technologies for alternative uses. Maybe you, or some colleagues have been involved with helping during the current crisis. You might be diverting manufacturing efforts to produce medical equipment. Whatever, let us know and we can help you to wave the flag. What marketing department would turn down an opportunity for free exposure?
A 50 word (max) abstract and a soft copy of the article is all that’s needed. We would ask that the author provides positive confirmation that it’s OK to publish. If the articles are already available on company websites, that’s fine – just include the hyperlink. Send the details to me at the contact details below.
We will be updating the AFCEA UK website over the next few days, or so and there will be a new page – “Resources”.
I will plan to produce a “periodic” update to this newsletter. The “period” will be defined by the volume of feedback and response that I receive. It will include the abstracts and links to the any articles or items of news that we receive.
So, on behalf of the entire AFCEA UK “Team”, I want to take this opportunity thank you all for your support and patience in these most difficult of times. If you are joining in with the “Clap for Carers” each Thursday evening, please give an extra round of applause for all of the services personnel who are doing such a fantastic job in providing the planning and logistics for distributing the many hundreds of tons of supplies to the NHS. We should also remember the volunteers producing PPE items in their own homes and using their own technology.
Whoever coined the phrase “We are all in this together” was absolutely spot on.
Take care and keep safe.