NATO's Strategic Warfare Development Command

Military, Academia and Industry Discuss Digital Transformation at Centre of Excellence’s Annual Event

October 12, 2022

Military, Academia and Industry Discuss Digital Transformation at Centre of Excellence’s Annual Event

Rome, Italy – The NATO Modelling & Simulation Centre of Excellence hosted the 17th annual NATO Computer Assisted Analysis, eXercise, and eXperimentation Forum 27-29 September 2022. The Forum represents an innovative event for military, industry and academia experts to meet and discuss Modelling & Simulation topics such as exercises, experimentation, wargaming, standardization and interoperability, with presentations and demonstrations on the latest technologies and trends in Modelling & Simulation.

Sponsored by NATO’s Allied Command Transformation in Norfolk, Virginia, this year’s Forum theme was “NATO’s Digital Transformation, Now and Beyond” and it hosted experts with presentations, workshops, and panel discussions focused on Wargaming, Modelling & Simulation for Artificial Intelligence, Modelling & Simulation for Cyber, Computer Assisted Exercises, Commercial Technologies, Emerging Disruptive Technologies and more. The Forum welcomed over 300 participants from 35 different nations.

Colonel Francesco Pacillo, the Centre’s Director, welcomed the community back from two years of virtual events. “The interest in modelling and simulation is increasing, highlighted by the diverse participation in this year’s Forum. The Forum’s principal goal is to bring this community together to advance the field of Modelling & Simulation and improve the capabilities of the Alliance. This year’s theme is in keeping with the progress of NATO moving into a more digital age and we thank all of our participants for their contributions,” said the Director in his remarks.

The Forum’s participants were also welcomed by Brigadier General Moschos Voudouris, NATO’s Allied Command Transformation Assistant Chief of Staff for Joint Force Development, and Brigadier General Didier Polomé, NATO’s Allied Command Transformation Assistant Chief of Staff for Strategic Plans and Policy. Rear Admiral Gaetano Virgilio, Chief of Italian Defence Innovation Office, Colonel Jan Mazal from Czech Republic, Mr. Herbert Klopp-Schulze from Germany and Dr. Thomas Irwin from the United States also provided messages as representatives of the Centre’s Sponsoring Nations.

Brigadier general Didier Polomé, NATO’s Allied Command Transformation Assistant Chief of Staff Strategic Plans and Policy, when explaining the digital transformation in NATO said: “the first debate on digital transformation: is it possible to model the complex environment in which we are, to make that prediction, to ultimately be superior? The answer is, this is a Graal that we will never get, it will be a conquest but we will never achieve this. So we cannot see it that way, we need to see it in a different perspective. We see our effort in three main activities; one is to modernize, see what we are doing, how do we upgrade it with digital tools; […] the second part is how do we optimize […], how do we use those new technologies, those tools to make us do our business better; […] the third part is the transformation itself, […] we have to start working today already on new technologies that will be a game changer: these are technologies that have not necessarily been proven, we haven’t done the experimentation into our armed forces yet, but we know they are over the horizon and we have to start thinking on how we implement before potential adversaries figure it out for themselves.”

The NATO Modelling & Simulation Centre of Excellence is dedicated to the promotion of Modelling & Simulation in support of operational requirements, training and interoperability. The Centre act as a catalyst for transformation through the involvement of NATO, governments, academia, industry, operational and training entities, by improving the networking of NATO and nationally owned Modelling & Simulation systems, the cooperation between Nations and organizations through the sharing of Modelling & Simulation information and developments and serving as an international source of expertise for transformation in the related domain: www.mscoe.org/

NATO Centres of Excellence are nationally or multi-nationally funded institutions accredited by NATO. They train and educate leaders and specialists from NATO member and partner countries, assist in doctrine development, identify lessons learned, improve interoperability and capabilities, and test and validate concepts through experimentation. They offer recognized expertise and experience that is of benefit to the Alliance and support the transformation of NATO, while avoiding the duplication of assets, resources and capabilities already present within the NATO command structure. Although not part of the NATO command structure, they are part of a wider framework supporting NATO Command Arrangements.