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02 9 2024

NCI Agency participates in Industry Day and Conference in Bulgaria

On 6 February 2024, the NATO Communications and Information Agency (NCI Agency) Chief of Technology (CTO) Antonio Calderon participated in a high-level conference and industry day held in Sofia, Bulgaria.

The event, entitled "Growing demand for defence industrial support and innovation opportunities," served as a forum for discussion on the future of defence industries in Europe. Additionally, the platform sought to raise awareness of ongoing and future EU and NATO defence-related initiatives, and improve engagement and participation of the Bulgarian defence industry.

NCI Agency participates in Industry Day and Conference in Bulgaria

The event was attended by representatives from the Bulgarian defence, space and hi-tech industries, with backgrounds ranging from start-ups to academia. Key NATO officials, Ministers from the Bulgarian government and high-ranking military officers are amongst some of those who participated in the conference sessions.

The first session of the conference kicked off with a discussion focused on strengthening the European defence industry in the new geopolitical posture. The dialogue covered important topics from developing new defence capabilities, to multinational programs and maintenance of defence equipment. The second session focused on science, innovation and emerging technologies for the development of the defence industry, and saw the participation of Antonio Calderon, the NCI Agency's CTO.

"There is an increasing demand for delivery of services and capabilities to NATO and this is directly leading to greater focus on smart sourcing from nations and industry," Calderon explained. "There are therefore many opportunities for industry to contribute with innovation that can support NATO's ambitious Digital Transformation, enabling effective Multi-Domain Operations for the Alliance."

The NCI Agency works with industry leaders and academics across Allied members to foster close cooperation, which opens the door to collaborative innovation and multi-domain operations (MDO). NATO's MDO objectives also include the creation of new and secure interfaces towards non-military actors such as airports, harbours, hospitals, police, managers of civil critical infrastructures, universities, etc. Therefore, our mission as an Agency is to enable secure and open platforms of digital collaboration, also with non-military stakeholders. All of them play an essential role in improving our societies layered resilience (more on page 28) as well as enhancing the security of our people and NATO territories, in case of specific events and scenarios.