The Fall ‘22 Innovation Challenge, organized by NATO Allied Command Transformation and the NATO Communications and Information Agency will be hosted by the Romanian Ministry of Defence in Bucharest, Romania, on Oct. 12, 2022. This edition of the challenge focuses on resilience and data security in a contested environment.
This year’s event will feature ten competitors and three finalists who have created solutions to a hypothetical scenario laid out in the Challenge. The winner of the Challenge will have the opportunity to further develop their solutions with NATO and its partners.
Supreme Allied Commander Transformation, General Philippe Lavigne, will open the event along with a representative of the Romanian Ministry of Defence. Following the announcement of the winners, an award ceremony will be held during NATO Edge, the flagship event for the NATO Communications and Information Agency in Mons, Belgium, Oct. 25-27.
As global security, advanced technologies, and NATO evolves, NATO’s data management, collection, and security are becoming increasingly relevant. The current Innovation Challenge calls for creative tools and strategies for securing data in a simulated, contested environment.
"By choosing a common venue and theme, this innovation challenge feeds into our ongoing reflections on borders and regional stability on NATO's eastern flank," said General Lavigne. "The results should therefore be naturally aligned with current concerns and capable of providing practical solutions to security issues."
The first NATO Innovation Challenge was held in 2017 as an initiative designed to resolve common operational challenges efficiently and cost-effectively. The Challenge prioritizes non-traditional innovators such as individual developers, start-ups, and academia. It also expands and deepens Alliance networks and collaboration with industry and universities through the NATO Innovation Network. The network is designed to develop a shared culture of innovation across the NATO enterprise.
"We received 81 solutions, from 19 different Allies. It’s the largest representation rate since the creation of the NATO Innovation Challenge," said General Lavigne. “Each team will present it's project in turn; the competition promises to be fascinating, and the perspectives mutually beneficial.”
In the most recent Strategic Concept, NATO’s commitment to digital transformation was reiterated, including an emphasis on the management of data in contested environments. As authoritarian powers continue to become more aggressive, attempting to shift the global balance in their favour, the strength of digital systems used by Allies will become increasingly vital. NATO continues to bolster its readiness with initiatives like the Innovation Challenge, designed to advance digital transformation and data security.
During the Innovation Challenge Finale on Oct. 12, NATO's Allied Command Transformation will present awards to the top three winners. First place receives $5,000, second place receives $2,500, and third place receives $1,000. Winning submissions develop NATO concepts, doctrine, standards, requirements, and capabilities.
Challenge winners will be invited to showcase their projects at NATO Edge and take part in a showcase space at the conference exhibition as well as the opportunity to demonstrate their innovative solutions for key NATO, national, and industry audiences.
This year’s Innovation Challenge Finale will begin at 10:30 am GMT on Oct. 12, tune in using the following link - Innovation Challenge Live Stream.