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Geollect continues roll with British Intelligence and Military

The complete Article below from Intelligence Online published 09/07/2021

“The UK’s ministry of defence has shown its support in Geollect, a start-up incubated by the GCHQ, with an increasing number of contracts. The latest is a highly-strategic mission to provide a psyops platform for the Royal Navy, recently caught in information warfare in the Black Sea.

Geollect, a British geospatial intelligence (GEOINT) newcomer mentored by GCHQ, has been picked by the ministry of defence to provide the Royal Navy with an information environment assessment platform dubbed Infosight. According to the company, this will be used to help British information operations campaign planners and managers better understand their “physical, virtual and cognitive domains” to prepare and implement psychological operations, or “psyops” (IO, 24/03/21).

The contract, signed on 22 June, follows a string of projects awarded to the firm by several of the UK’s security agencies. The UK believes GEOINT, and space in general, will become a major playing field in the years ahead (IO, 25/03/20), and wants to have its own champion at the ready, both connected to the local defence and intelligence community and to the field’s emerging private ecosystem.

Leaning towards the US. From the onset, Geollect dove straight into maritime projects. Half its revenue comes from contracts with cruiseship companies and P&I clubs, which are mutual marine insurance associations.  Geollect monitors climate and political data likely to affect fleets and ensures that the latter comply with regulations especially regarding international sanctions.

On maritime surveillance, Geollect is well placed to rival other European providers the likes of French firms Preligens and Keiros. It has also has a trump card to play on both British and US markets.

Prior to Geollect, co-founder Catherine Gwilliam, née Scovel, spent the bulk of her 18-year career in GEOINT at the US National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), where she specialised in maritime intelligence and ended up as head of department. During her time with the NGA, she provided analysis to the US Secret Service, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the US Navy.

In May, Geollect hired US Navy veteran Kevin Burke, a man with a three-decade career in navy intelligence that saw him go from head of security for the navy’s special programmes through to strategic advisor to the director of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS).

Geollect boasts an advisory board full of former US Navy intelligence officers. Chairman Gregory Scovel, was acting director of the NCIS and is now in charge of the cyber department of Pentagon subcontractor CACI (IO, 03/03/21). Geollect special advisor Lynn Wright was acting director of the Office of Naval Intelligence, on the joint staff task force for Afghanistan and Pakistan and chief for Defense Intelligence Agency operations in Afghanistan. Fellow special advisor Jay Cohen is a retired rear admiral of the US Navy and former under secretary of homeland security for science and technology at the DHS. He also served as chief of the Office of Naval Research.

Family business

Gwilliam cofounded Geollect with her husband Richard Gwilliam, a former navy intelligence officer who served with the Combined Maritime Forces then the United States Fifth Fleet, both in Bahrain, the UK’s Commando Helicopter Force in Somerset, and the 77th Brigade of the British Army. Their son, Ben Gwilliam, an ex-Royal Navy intelligence officer, followed in his father’s footsteps and is now head of intelligence operations at Geollect.”

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