NCI Agency announces winners of 2019 annual Defence Innovation Challenge

By Communications Team 4/8/2019

The NATO Communications and Information (NCI) Agency is pleased to announce the winners of the fourth annual Defence Innovation Challenge.

The NATO Communications and Information (NCI) Agency is pleased to announce the winners of the fourth annual Defence Innovation Challenge, aimed at accelerating transformational, state-of-the-art technology solutions from start-ups, small businesses and academia in support of NATO C4ISR and cyber capabilities.

Dr Peter Lenk, Chief Service Strategy and Innovation at the NCI Agency, said: "I was very impressed with the proposals received this year to our fourth Innovation Challenge.  Our selection panel judged them all to be of very high quality. The proposals demonstrate the revolutionary product ideas that small business and academia can offer to support NATO's C4ISR and cyber capabilities."

Small businesses and academia from 11 Allied nations submitted proposals. The top 10 innovators and their technologies are:

NAMECOUNTRYNAME OF THE PROPOSAL
US Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) and Norwegian Defence Research Establishment (FFI)NorwayDual-use of AIS-data; Combining historical and live AIS track with Social Network Analysis for increased Maritime Network Awareness
Kepler CommunicationsCanadaPolarConnect
2G Robotics Inc.CanadaInnovative Optical Sensor Payload for Autonomous Underwater Vehicles: A Force Multiplier for Defensive Mine Countermeasures
MarineTrafficGreeceMarineTraffic MSA and Anomaly Detection Tool
VakeNorwayVake - detect and classify dark ships in satellite images
StudiomappItalyShip detection and monitor port activities using Artificial Intelligence on Very High Resolution Satellite Imagery
Troika Solutions (US) and Fieldmade (Norway)NorwayLogistics Velocity enabled by in-field manufacturing
Nodalpoint SystemsGreeceSatShipAI
Oxford Scientifica LtdUnited KingdomRubicon - Advanced Data Signal Compression, Fidelity and Security
MMI AgencyUnited StatesIdentity Resolution and Threat Analysis (IRTA) Workstation

 

The evaluation board selected the best proposal out of the top ten: Dual-use of AIS-data; Combining historical and live AIS track with Social Network Analysis for increased Maritime Network Awareness. As the winner, US Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) and Norwegian Defence Research Establishment (FFI), will be awarded a monetary prize of 10,000 EUR, and given the ambitious task of running a formal pilot with the NCI Agency to demonstrate its solution.

The top finishers are invited to showcase their tech solutions at this year's NCI Agency Conference and AFCEA TechNet International (NITEC19) - 'NATO and the High North: Technology Ultramarathon', which will take place on 20-22 May in Oslo, Norway.

The top ten finishers will receive:

  • One registration waiver for admission to NITEC19;
  • Sales pitch presentation of five minutes during the plenary sessions of NITEC19;
  • Free showcase space in the exhibition area (standard space);
  • Participation in the award ceremony with NATO leadership; and
  • Mention in the NITEC19 report.

Participants of the conference will also have an opportunity to join B2B meetings and mentoring sessions with their peers. They can also schedule bilateral meetings with the NCI Agency managers.

The Challenge was open to start-ups, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and academic institutions operating at the cutting edge of technology from all 29 NATO Nations. This year, the challenge focused on data science and natural language processing.

Want more information about our industry event NITEC19? Please visit the NITEC19 website to view the agenda and register for the conference.

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