What is GEMS and what does it stand for


I've recently joined the REME and I'm not fully aware of what the GEMS system involves, my current undersatnding is that the army award young crafties with money for coming up with good ideas for mods to the kit? but I don't know much more than that if anyone could give me some more info like how you go about submitting a GEMS or some examples that'd be great

The GEMS system involves getting a member of the military to sort out a problem, improve a system, giving them a few quid for it then copyrighting it or putting a patent on it so they get the money for that.


But what the heck does it stand for? I've been had by this some years ago; got paid £75 for a commonsense idea once only for them to do more or less what the poster said above and some top knob to claim it was his idea.
The scheme is open to all MoD employees, not just the military.

Edited to add Gems Link
No experience of GEMS, but I had some involvement with its predecessor, the Army Technical Suggestions Scheme. Certainly, back then, it was bloody hard work to produce a submission (technical drawings, photographs, write-up) and the rewards were minimal. I ran a local awards scheme and was frankly embarassed at the low level of grants I was allowed to make. It may have improved under GEMS, but I doubt it.


Gems doesn't 'stand' for anything, it's just a word.

It is certainly a lot easier to submit a Gems than it was to submit a tech suggestion.
When you submit one, keep a copy of it, dated and signed by a witness if possible - this will ensure you can back up claims that someone nicked your idea.

I made a few quid from Gems before I left, all for common sense stuff. Use the system to change things for the better - it won't always work, but at least you get money for trying.


Nige said:
Gems doesn't 'stand' for anything, it's just a word.

I thought "GEMS" (or "GEMS Suggestions") stood for "General Engineering & Management Systems Suggestions"? ...I could be wrong though.

In fact, I'm sure it was you, Nige, who filled me in on all the in-depth details of the process of submitting a GEMS Suggestion when we were on Op TELIC 3? I never did claim the measly 25 quid they awarded me for that suggestion about the Land Rover turbochargers. A suggestion which could have saved thousands of pounds, endless hours of unneccesary work and possibly lives while out in Iraq (or some other crappy region).

Despite the award not being proportional to the possible advantages of implementing the suggestion, I did receive a letter commending me on what a detailed and well laid out suggestion it was...although I seem to remember it being Nige who did that too because I was too busy repairing Land Rovers which had gone down due to failure of turbos!!!!


War Hero
Book Reviewer
We have had 5 clothing gems across our desk this year and every one was ether silly or expensive (millions) however we appreciate the effort.

What winds me up a little is that these were years old and no one wanted to say they were unfeasible I was the 4th or 5th signatory.

The joke is when you receive one you only have a few days to work on the thing.

Is this the case with engineering submissions? Do you actually receive feedback on negative submissions? In my cases I rang the individuals and explained the reasons for non-acceptance

The GEMS scheme is a wonderful idea when it actually works on the units side first. Its open to any rank and also to MOD employees as stated before, it is designed to make systems run more smoothly and if a quick penny or two can be saved by changing something then those ideas count too! A few mates of mine have had brainstorms and the result has been the initial 25 quid but once it has gone higher and the top people realised it will save money in the long run then they gave out a huge cash incentive to find more ideas from like-minded people. My advice to anybody is at least attempt it, even if the idea is total pants yet seems logical then your in pocket with the 25 quid...
Me? I'm very much on the idea of GEMS, it's a right lil Gem ;oP


It was called 'GEMS' because it was meant to be a 'bright idea'.

Name dreamed up back in the days of ATSA Chertsey, when it went from a Technical Suggestion, to encompase all thoughts and bright ideas. This was so that it could include clothing etc

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