NATO's Strategic Warfare Development Command

Innovation: Allied Command Transformation Launches New Innovation Challenge on the High North

March 30, 2023


NORFOLK, VA – NATO’s Allied Command Transformation launched the 11th edition of the NATO Innovation Challenge on March 27th, 2023. This Innovation Challenge will focus on the High North and issues surrounding the Arctic region.

The 11th edition of the NATO Innovation Challenge aims at collecting new and innovative solutions that will ensure effective operations in the Arctic, from Space to Seabed. Priority focus includes geographical specificities, unique considerations, and the context of a NATO joint operation. Submissions are open until May 14th 2023. The best proposals will be awarded a monetary prize, and could be developed by NATO for further opportunities.

This NATO Innovation Challenge is co-organized with the NATO Communications and Information Agency and the Open Seas Technology Innovation Hub, supported by the US Department of Energy, with the Joint Arctic Command of Denmark hosting the challenge finale on June 22nd. Five of the eight Arctic nations within the High North are currently members of NATO. With the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the increasing competitive threat from China, NATO is increasing its presence and vigilance across the Alliance, including in the High North. Priorities for the High North include communications, search and rescue, situational awareness, preservation, and sub-surface navigation.

Initiated in 2017, the NATO Innovation Challenge is a brainstorming process that produces effective and cost-efficient collaboration between the Alliance, Academia, Industry, and additional innovators. The NATO Innovation Challenge helps resolve operational problems for the Alliance, collecting and implementing innovative solutions. Open to all NATO member Nations, the ACT Innovation Hub co-organizes the NATO Innovation Challenge with NATO Nations – participants gain both visibility and the opportunity to develop their products. It is also the cornerstone to the development of a NATO-wide Innovation Network.

“The NATO Innovation Challenge provides a flexible format to cooperate with Industry and Academy. This edition focuses on the Arctic, but the solutions provided overlap across domains and operations throughout NATO. Innovation at NATO cannot function without the support of our Industry and Academy partners, we are grateful to collaborate and strengthen the Alliance together,” shared Melodie Gallant, the Project Lead from ACT Innovation Hub.

Currently, there is an active Wargame Design Challenge: Users can submit proposals to innovative problem analysis, solution design, training, and military decision processes – winners of the challenge will be sponsored to attend the Wargaming Initiative Conference in Rome on 27-28 June 2023. The NATO Innovation Network strives to inspire transformation and develop a shared culture of innovation among NATO Nations and collaborative partners.