Experimentation and Demonstration

Experimentation streamlines the capability development process and shortens development cycles. Demonstrations bring military transformation alive and show tangible products of warfare development. JWC and JFTC provide support in experimentation, scenario’s and decision-making.

Operational Experimentation

opex-logo-300x250.pngOperational Experimentation brings operators and innovators together in the same spaces. This nexus, which is central to Warfare Development, ensures the speed and relevance of experiments.

Operational Experimentation occurs in NATO theatres of operations, in live and computer-assisted exercises, and in collegial settings.

Regardless of the venue, experimenters develop designs and plans with an emphasis on finding evidence to support and guide decision-making in concepts and capabilities development.

Experimentation is applied across Allied Command Transformation’s enterprise, addressing challenges in human and technological spheres.

Learn more on OPEX

OPEX is a compact, yet versatile organisation within NATO’s Headquarters Supreme Allied Commander Transformation, based in Norfolk, Virginia, USA. OPEX is responsible for experimenting, using controlled investigations to gain evidence in support of developing new concepts, ideas, and capabilities. With an operational bias, OPEX works extensively with field operators and niche experts such as deployed NATO forces, civilians, academics, industry, other international organisations, and non-government organisations. Experimentation enables the Alliance to better understand what works, and what does not, and why.

Click here to open the Operational Experimentation Online Press Room

TIDE Sprint

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TIDE Sprint - Everything Starts with an Idea!

Interoperability is the ability to act together as one, which makes it the foundation of all NATO operations. TIDE Sprint examines emergent technologies to improve the interoperability, resilience and agility of NATO, and future Alliance and partner nation’s Command and Control Capabilities and Information Technology services. TIDE Sprint contributes to the success of the Alliance and further develops its ability to guarantee the freedom and security of its members through a culture of openness to new ideas, discussion and collaboration.

Learn more on TIDE Sprint

Today’s strategic environment is complex, unpredictable and constantly changing. This means that NATO needs to be ever more responsive and resilient, and be able to work with a large network of partners across the globe to confront security challenges. Such an environment calls for the ability to connect all NATO forces and partners together. Being interoperable from the onset of every NATO operation makes the Alliance stronger than its individual members, because it allows individual NATO nations to operate as one NATO force. As the NATO Command mandated to develop Allied warfare capabilities, and therefore driving innovation and collaboration, developing ideas and solutions to the challenges of tomorrow is key to the NATO Allied Command Transformation mission.

TIDE Sprint is the place where many ideas to strengthen NATO are born. The think-tank event brings military engineers, operators and managers together with industry and academia to collaborate, innovate and to identify solutions that solve many of the most pressing interoperability challenges faced by NATO. The outcomes from TIDE Sprints inform, inspire and advance the work of participants and communities of interest, capability development efforts and programmes of work. The results support the resilience of the Alliance, its combat-readiness and amplify the strength of NATO’s collective defence capabilities. TIDE Sprints survey requirements, identify issues and make recommendations that will be further explored, examined and experimented with at the TIDE Hackathon, at the Coalition Warrior Interoperability eXercise and in future NATO exercises.

The ‘Think-Tank for Information, Decision and Execution Superiority’ (TIDE) Sprint is part of an annual cycle of related events organised by NATO's Allied Command Transformation that includes the TIDE Hackathon and the Coalition Warrior Interoperability eXercise. The ‘Interoperability Continuum’ supports the Alliance, partner nations and other organisations to improve interoperability between their Command and Control Capabilities and Information Technology Services. We do this by exploring ideas at TIDE Sprint, experimenting with new potential solutions at the TIDE Hackathon and testing existing capabilities at the Coalition Warrior Interoperability eXercise, all to ensure that NATO maintains its innovative edge and continuously reinforces its interoperability. By bringing these events together as a continuum, NATO's Allied Command Transformation provides a well-rounded approach to innovation, recommendation and implementation, combining people, processes and technology as the three key components of interoperability.

TIDE Sprints takes place twice a year, every spring in Europe and every fall in the United States. These events bring together communities of interest to share, exchange and explore ideas to help the Alliance stay cutting-edge and relevant in a time where change is the only constant, and new developments are continuously added to our adversaries’ capabilities. Each TIDE Sprint event has different tracks in areas relevant to NATO which are led by experienced Subject Matter Experts. The communities supporting the tracks inform Allied Command Transformation on operators’ needs, ensuring that NATO’s war-fighters are ready to succeed in future multinational operations.

TIDE Sprint is open to NATO, partner nations and other organisations; events take place in an unclassified environment and all sessions are conducted in English. Additional information on event administration, registration, past presentations and reports are available on the password protected TIDEPEDIA website. For access to Tidepedia, please send an email to, including your first and last name, your telephone number, email address and the government or military organisation you represent. Industry and academia are encouraged to participate but require sponsorship from NATO, or from a national government or military representative.

Coalition Warrior Interoperability eXercise - CWIX

cwix logo 300Interoperability between allied and partner nations multiplies the strength of our forces, allowing them to act together as one. It is at the core of NATO's ability to collectively defend our nations, deter aggression, and project stability. Interoperability directly contributes to the freedom and security of NATO's member and partner nations.

The Coalition Warrior Interoperability eXercise, or CWIX, is NATO’s premier interoperability event. At CWIX, nations and organisations come together and collaborate to verify and validate their ability to work alongside each other. At CWIX, scientists, operators, industry representatives, with military operators, explore, experiment, examine, and exercise their emerging, near fielded and fielded capabilities. Only when people, processes, and technology are fully interoperable can commanders be confident that our multinational force are fully effective and ready for NATO missions from the outset.

Learn more on CWIX

At the highest levels, NATO recognises that interoperability enhances information sharing between NATO and partner nations and that interoperability is the key enabler that improves situational awareness, so we can make better decisions faster. Not only does this increase the likelihood of success, but it also serves the men and women of our militaries by reducing operational risk and keeping them safe.

CWIX allows nations to experiment, test and de-risk their deployable systems before undertaking missions such as the NATO Response Force. It allows commanders to ‘fine-tune’ their Command and Control capabilities before achieving combat readiness at the Steadfast Cobalt and Trident Juncture exercises. Nations will also test interoperability between mobile tactical radios in preparation for the Very High Readiness Task Force, they will test and improve cyber awareness and will confirm ‘day zero’ readiness of deployable Command and Control capabilities. In 2019, CWIX also aims to improve the way that medical records are passed between our nations to speed up the delivery of medical support, and will explore the future of data science and what it means for the Alliance.

CWIX addresses a wide spectrum of technical and procedural interoperability between currently deployed, near-term, future and experimental capabilities. Interoperability testing before and during development reduces deployment times and cost, minimizes system failure in NATO missions and allows nations to design interoperability into their systems. At the same time, CWIX fosters innovation by identifying and solving interoperability shortfalls, experimenting with alternative approaches, and exploring emerging technologies. Altogether, CWIX helps maintain the military advantage of NATO and national troops in an increasingly complex and uncertain global security environment.

NATO's Allied Command Transformation leads the annual CWIX programme that takes place at the Joint Force Training Centre in Bydgoszcz, Poland. CWIX 2019 will see representatives from 36 NATO nations, partner nations, and international organisations will test and improve interoperability between three hundred Command and Control capabilities and Information Technology services.

For further information about CWIX, please contact the CWIX Management Team:

TIDE Hackathon

2018hackathonlogo240Data Science @ WORK

As part of the Interoperability Continuum cycle the TIDE Hackathon features Data Science. The TIDE Hackathon is an opportunity to tackle Data Science use cases that were identified during the Fall 2018 TIDE Sprint. These issues have now been developed into modelling, coding and visualization challenges that will be addressed by teams of experts from diverse backgrounds at the TIDE Hackathon. Teams that present solutions that are most significant for NATO could be invited to demonstrate and further develop them at the Spring TIDE Sprint event and potentially during CWIX.

Learn more on TIDE Hackathon

All solutions will be free to use by all participants and interested NATO Nations and partners. All material will be made available on Tidepedia to enable future collaboration and development. The best solutions will be used within NATO to address urgent business needs.


The aim of the TIDE Hackathon is for teams of experts from a variety of disciplines to identify solutions to the Data Science use cases identified during TIDE Sprint events. Teams are expected to work competitively, but in the spirit of collaboration. The challenge scenarios are based around on-going humanitarian de-mining efforts in Iraq and assessment of strategic communication objectives for the NATO Trident Juncture Exercise 2018.

Teams consisting of 2-3 experts from NATO and partner nations’ governments, industry or academic organisations are welcome to apply. The Handbook provides potential participants with some context for the 2019 TIDE Hackathon, it explains the challenges, rules and the administrative aspects that must be considered.


The TIDE Hackathon will:
• Develop innovative architectural models, views, and methods for understanding and presenting demining information to military commanders
• Develop novel software/hardware based solutions for the demining business cases including any ‘low-hanging fruit’
• Promote ‘Interoperability by Design’ by sharing knowledge and increasing awareness among stakeholders

For more information on the TIDE Hackathon including participation please see the Calling Notice, the TIDE Hackathon Handbook, Trifold and Factsheet.

The Interoperability Continuum

In response to the dynamically changing geo-political environment that we face today, NATO conducts a process of continuous transformation, guided by a high level political agenda. Bringing effective change to such a large organization is, however, a complex endeavor. In order to support this challenging task, HQ SACT introduced a Hackathon, complementing traditional ways of procurement.

The former Enterprise Architecture Hackathon was rebranded to become the TIDE Hackathon, to meet two major objectives. Firstly, to increase its scope in order to serve a larger group of stakeholders. Secondly, to provide support to the Federated Mission Networking (FMN) by becoming an enabler for the Interoperability Continuum initiative.

The Hackathon will be integrated into the Interoperability Continuum that spans across the fall TIDE Sprint, TIDE Hackathon, the spring TIDE Sprint and the CWIX in a perennial circle.

The four events will form a Fast Track to expedite the development of emerging concepts in support of FMN spiral specifications. The Fast Track will connect the Fall TIDE Sprint (Oct 2017, Virginia Beach), the TIDE Hackathon (19-23 March 2018, University of Montenegro, Podgorica, Montenegro), the spring TIDE Sprint (April 2018, Genova, Italy) and the CWIX 2018 (Jun 2018, Bydgoszcz, Poland). The participants of the fall TIDE Sprint proposed challenges to be tackled during the Hackathon by teams from industry, academia and military organizations. HQ SACT will sponsor the TIDE Hackathon winners to further develop solutions at the Spring TIDE Sprint and finally present them at CWIX.