NATO's Strategic Warfare Development Command

Team Royal Military Academy of Belgium Announced as Winner of the NATO Innovation Challenge – Fall 2020 Iteration

December 10, 2020

NATO Innovation Challenge

Norfolk, VA and Rome, Italy – The NATO Innovation Hub in close coordination with the Italian Ministry of Defence were pleased to announce today that Team Royal Military Academy of Belgium as the winner of the NATO Innovation Challenge (Fall 2020/2 iteration). Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the 10 selected finalists from Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, United Kingdom and the USA delivered their pitches via online means, and Team Royal Military Academy of Belgium provided the winning pitch, for their solution “Incorporating and evaluating all aspects of the human-agent trust-triangle within the digital twin concept, including the socio-ethical dimension”. The second place winner was Team University of Michigan from the USA, for their solution “A personalized approach for predicting and promoting trust in human-autonomy teaming”. The third place winner was Team Aleph-Alpha – UNI BW – KIT from Germany, for their solution “Enhancing Trust in Unmanned Autonomous Systems through Gamification and Explainability”.

The Fall 2020/2 Innovation Challenge iteration focused on solutions that addressed how trust in autonomous systems can be established and strengthened. The Innovation Challenge began on 13 October, 2020 and interested innovators had until 17 November 2020 to register for participation with the winner being announce on pitch day – 10 December, 2020. The scenario of this challenge described the situation of employing autonomous systems in addressing threats posed to friendly harbors and sea port. While the fictional scenario focuses in the maritime domain, it is easily transferable to other domains.

The challenge, open to entrepreneurs, designers, inventors, engineers, scientists, coders, and others, was looking for innovative solutions to support the decision-making of military leaders; deliver logistics and supplies to isolated individuals and teams; identify false information and mitigate its effects on NATO operations. The best entries in this edition of the NATO Innovation Challenge could help inform and support the development of future NATO military doctrine, standards and requirements, and the development of new capabilities.

Since 2017, The NATO Innovation Hub from Headquarters Supreme Allied Command Transformation has organized innovation challenges twice a year. Each challenge is co-organized with a NATO Nation, which host the final event: the pitch day of the finalists. The challenge is open to anyone (individuals, entrepreneurs, start-ups, industry, academia, etc.) located in NATO Nations. The Innovation Challenge aims to give NATO new, creative and efficient ways to respond to security challenges.

By organizing these important competitive innovation challenges around real-world issues, Allied Command Transformation continues to be at the forefront of NATO efforts as it relates to the importance of transformation and development as continuous and essential drivers of change.