On 24 and 25 October 2023, the NATO Communications and Information Agency (NCI Agency) General Manager, Ludwig Decamps, participated in the NATO-Industry Forum in Stockholm, Sweden.
The NATO-Industry Forum brought together industry executives, senior NATO civilian and military commanders and national officials, as well as key leaders from other institutions, to facilitate strategic discussion, cooperation opportunities and explore NATO's vision for its future defence capabilities. Under the theme 'Addressing the New Strategic Reality Together', this year's forum aimed to build upon the decisions taken by Heads of State and Government at the NATO Vilnius Summit in July 2023.
On the first day of the event, the NCI Agency General Manager led a panel discussion about the challenges of standardization and interoperability. The panel, composed of four industry executives from the defence and security sector from Norway, Poland and Finland, tackled the required actions to integrate current and legacy systems into modern networked architectures and field the capabilities of the future.
"Today we see an unprecedented proliferation of advanced technologies across the entire military spectrum. With this progress, comes a pressing concern: the ability of these systems to interact seamlessly, particularly in multinational environments like NATO," said Decamps, setting the scene for the panel discussion. "It is therefore essential that we look at current system interoperability, and prepare for standardizing future emerging and disruptive technologies."
The panel successfully highlighted challenges but also paths forward for the Alliance alongside industry to enhance interoperability and standardization through collaboration. Thought-provoking discussions on NATO capabilities of the future, or the use of standards to enable emerging and disruptive technologies, were held during the session.
The event provided the platform for the Agency's General Manager to engage with other leaders, including the Supreme Allied Commander Transformation, General Lavigne, the Director General of the Swedish Defence Research Agency (FOI), amongst others.
On the second day of the event, the General Manager signed a Not-For-Profit Framework agreement with Finland's VTT Technical Research Centre, marking the first cooperation of this kind with a Finnish partner organization after only half a year since Finland joined NATO.
The annual forum is the primary venue for strategic dialogue with industry on NATO capability planning, development and delivery. The event is co-organized by Allied Command Transformation and the Defence Investment Division of the NATO HQ International Staff, on behalf of the NATO Secretary General.