The need for NATO and industry to innovate in response to shared challenges stemming from a new, complex strategic environment was the common theme of remarks by high-level speakers at NCI Agency’s annual conference, NITEC17.
"This is the adaptation we are trying to realize in NATO: not to expand our command structure, but to enhance our ability to connect with an ever-increasing number of partners," said NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Transformation General Denis Mercier.
Adding that best practices across Nations and within industry can be a source of innovative solutions for NATO, General Mercier said the Alliance will look at making policy changes that are necessary to keep pace with 21st century threats.
Discussing the changing nature of these current threats, Deputy Minister of Defence for Canada Mr John Forster said: "Nowhere is research and innovation going to be more important than in defence and security".
Ideas for partnership
Making the case for government-industry partnerships that can address cyber challenges, CenturyLink President and CEO Glen F Post III added: "We have found that our trusted partnerships play a critical role in combating the cyber threat, since we all bring different assets, approaches and specialized knowledge to the table."
Mr Post continued: "Securing our collective networks against evolving cyber threats begins when organizations acknowledge we are all interdependent and that we face common threats and vulnerabilities. It is only by working together that we can create the best technologies, processes and world-leading solutions."
CrowdStrike Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer Dmitri Alperovitch and Cisco Senior Vice President and Chief Security and Trust Officer John Stewart agreed that innovation and acquisition lifecycles must be brought into sync, a topic that will be explored in more depth on Day 2 of NITEC17, with panel discussions on innovation as a process in addressing defence challenges and the role of business accelerators and incubators in spurring innovative solutions to the defence marketplace.
Around 700 participants from across the Alliance are gathered this week in Ottawa, Canada for the NCI Agency’s annual conference, NITEC17, with the theme of "Sharpening NATO’s Technological Edge: Adaptive Partnerships and the Innovative Power of Alliance Industry".
Follow the NCI Agency on Twitter (@NCIAgency) for continued updates on NITEC17 on 25 and 26 April.