The NATO Communications and Information (NCI) Agency's flagship event NITEC19 kicked off today in Oslo, where more than 700 senior government, military and industry leaders gathered to discuss potential partnerships and upcoming business opportunities.
The three-day industry conference is focused this year on advancing technology and business practices to strengthen NATO operations from the South to the High North.
Norwegian Minister of Defence Frank Bakke-Jensen opened the conference on Monday. In his remarks, the Minister outlined why operating in the High North is especially challenging. The Minister emphasized the importance of adapting communication systems and technology to this harsh environment.
"Meeting these challenges requires close collaboration between Nations, industry and the Alliance," Bakke-Jensen said. "Peace and stability in the High North helps safeguard peace and stability in all of NATO."
Panels that followed on Monday tackled questions of technology suitable for the High North, autonomy in defence and fostering a strong tech-savvy workforce.
In his keynote address, NCI Agency General Manager Kevin J. Scheid said he wanted NATO's Command, Control, Communications, Computer, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) community to take the lead in technological development for particular areas of operations in the High North.
"We are here to keep our edge," Scheid said. "We want to be a smart buyer. We want to learn from industry, see what is going on and make sure that you know how to engage with NATO and the NCI Agency."
And that was just day one!
There are two more exciting days of programming ahead, including panels on data science, maritime technology and technology priorities for the High North.