NATO's Strategic Warfare Development Command

TIDE Hackathon: Pressure-cooking solutions for NATO

February 28, 2019

TIDE Hackathon: Pressure-cooking solutions for NATO

“The only constant is change” [Heraclitus, circa 500 B.C.]

After four days of intensive and around-the-clock coding, modelling and visualising of NATO challenges, three teams, two from Poland and a team from the Netherlands, have become the winners of the 2019 TIDE Hackathon. The theme of this event was Data Science with the outcomes supporting our understanding of the power of data science and how data science can support commanders by turning data into actions.

From the 25th through the 28th of February, the 2019 TIDE Hackathon took place in Warsaw, Poland, where 13 teams from Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, Türkiye and Ukraine, competed against each other to develop ideas and solutions in a pressure-cooker environment. With only four days to deliver their solutions, the teams sacrificed their quiet hours to develop code to improve situational awareness solutions, design computer models and improve the way that data is visualised. Their hard work has paid off, as the solutions presented by all team demonstrate that innovation is possible in such a short time-frame.

At this TIDE Hackathon, teams applied the principles of data science to large quantities of open source data. The modelling and coding challenges were provided with additional mine information over Iraq in order to understand and answer questions from a NATO commander. The visualisation challenge used data created for Exercise Trident Juncture to provide insights about the ‘Information Environment’. An independent panel of subject matter experts from industry (4Strat and IBM), the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD), NATO Headquarters and the Polish Ministry of Defence unanimously agreed that Team ArchiTechs and the DataScienceCadets, both from the Poland Military Technology Institute were winners of the Modelling and Coding Challenge. TNO-JIVC, an industry team from the Netherlands were the winners of the visualization challenge. Additional awards for the most novel approach, ‘spirit of the Hackathon’ and team diaries were also made. In his closing statement, Mr Adam Piotrowski, Director of Polish Ministry of Defence Information Technology Inspectorate, praised all teams for their efforts and innovative work, and looked forward to the further development of their solutions.

Winners have been invited to the Spring 2019 TIDE Sprint, to be held in Split, Croatia from 25-29 March where they will have an opportunity to demonstrate their achievements and further develop their solutions. TIDE Sprint will further drive innovation and creativity within NATO and Allied Command Transformation as well as inspire all of us to further explore, and experiment with these and other ideas and solutions. This way NATO can make ample use of the opportunities the TIDE Hackathon offers to drive continuous and consistent interoperability development that might have otherwise have missed.

By organising the TIDE Hackathon, alongside TIDE Sprint and the Coalition Warrior Interoperability eXercise, the Allied Command Transformation-led Interoperability Continuum improves NATO’s ability to act as one through enhanced interoperability. It allows Alliance and partner nations to explore, experiment and examine its people, processes and technologies to ensure NATO’s resilience and continued ability to meet its core tasks.