How RAF 100 is bringing technology to future generations

Maxine Ashbrook
By , - Responsible Business

2018 will mark the centenary of the Royal Air Force, the world’s first independent air force.

To commemorate this momentous anniversary, the RAF and its four associated charities are combining to create the RAF 100 Appeal.

The appeal consists of a six-month programme of events, including a national art competition and a youth programme on arts and design. It will be launched with a concert at the Royal Albert Hall.

Its mission is simple: to tell the unique story of the RAF to the UK and beyond to build on the successes of the past century and leave a legacy for the next.

Technology and people: our shared values

At Fujitsu, we are proud to be one of the headline sponsors for this important event.

As a global pioneer in the IT industry and a top-two supplier to the MOD, we share the RAF’s passion for innovation and technological excellence. And the RAF 100 Appeal is an excellent opportunity to celebrate this.

But our shared values extend beyond the pursuit of technology.

Our organisations both believe that people are the driving force behind tech innovation.

It’s the extraordinary personnel of the RAF that make it a world-class air power.  And it’s our team at Fujitsu that make us world leaders in ICT.

This is why we’re particularly excited to be part of the RAF 100 campaign: it recognises the importance of engaging with different types of people.

Inspiring everyone to connect with technology

The appeal is focused on reaching out to groupings who have traditionally been underrepresented in conversations about aerospace, engineering and technology.

These include women, BAME communities and young people.

By having conversations with a wider cross-section of the public we hope to inspire more people from different backgrounds to get involved in science and engineering, and hopefully address the worrying lack of diversity that still remains prevalent in this sector.

This is something that our organisation also cares passionately about, as our work in diversity and inclusion demonstrates.

Getting young people into STEM

Throughout 2018 there will be a variety of events aimed at attracting young people in particular.

There will be a national aircraft tour visiting six locations across the UK, giving 10s of thousands of kids the opportunity to meet with the RAF and have a look at examples of aeroplanes, from museum pieces to modern machines.

Education is also a priority for RAF 100.

There will be an initiative to enhance the range of scholarships and university bursaries available for young people to enter the professional world of aviation, with an accent on attracting those from under-privileged backgrounds.

And a new curricular programme for students aged 9–15 is hoped to encourage up to two million students of all backgrounds to take an interest in STEM.

Youth organisations will play a part in the anniversary celebrations too.

RAF 100 is looking to provide a range of 21st-century aerospace training facilities for the Air Cadet organisation.

And the appeal has also created an ‘air researcher’ badge for the Scout organisation, hoping to foster an interest in the potential of aviation among younger children.

Fujitsu itself will be demonstrating their technology to children aged 8 -15 at the Royal International Air Tattoo in Fairford in 2018.

Laying the foundation for the future

Helping to create this kind of programme is all part of a progressive approach towards technological development.

If you want to stay at the cutting edge, you have to develop the next generation so they can take you there.

And it’s doubly important to include all types of young people in this so that your technological workforce reflects the society that it serves.

Young people are the future of technology, whether their journey takes them into STEM through Fujitsu or as a member of the RAF.

For this reason we’re proud to be involved in the celebration of the RAF’s first 100 years, and we’re confident that the next 100 will be just as inspiring.

The RAF 100 Centenary will launch in March 2018. For more information: https://www.raf.mod.uk/raf100/about/

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Maxine Ashbrook

Maxine Ashbrook

Head of Marketing, Defence and National Security at Fujitsu
Maxine is the leader and evangelist for Defence and National Security marketing in Fujitsu. She heads up the Defence marketing team who are responsible for creating meaningful and memorable customer experiences focusing on stakeholder relationships and marketing’s contribution to winning new business
Maxine Ashbrook

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