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04 26 2017

NITEC17: Innovation is an Ecosystem

OTTAWA—Developing an innovation ecosystem that fosters dialogue with industry focused on outcomes rather than requirements and rewards learning instead of discouraging failure is necessary to bring innovation to NATO more rapidly, keynote speakers and panelists emphasized on Day 2 of NITEC17.

"Defence innovation isn't a scientific problem," said Vice Admiral Ron Lloyd, Commander of the Royal Canadian Navy. "It's not a technical problem. It's not a procurement problem. It's an organizational problem. So we need to tackle it at an organizational level; we need to create a process that turns ideas into advantage as a natural part of our way of business."

In a panel discussion on innovation as process, industry executives offered ideas about how NATO can better leverage the technology it already has, including prioritizing hands-on experience with the technology through conducting test trials in a lab setting.

A panel discussion about how to accelerate innovation concluded that this requires defence organizations to find new ways of interacting with an ecosystem of buyers, business managers, and financiers—including approaching companies with a problem to solve.

In a keynote address, Dr. John Zangardi, Acting Chief Information Officer of the U.S. Department of Defense said, "Working with industry so that industry is aware of our needs requires communication and true partnership. These partnerships take investment in time and effort."

Mark Anderson, President of Palo Alto Networks, said in keynote remarks that industry is very supportive of the Cyber Defence Pledge, approved by Alliance leaders at the NATO Summit in Warsaw last year, because it can help deepen NATO-industry cooperation.

"We need to focus more on threat intelligence sharing," he said, noting that NATO and industry face adversaries that routinely share strategies about how to penetrate networks.

Over 700 participants from across the Alliance are gathered this week in Ottawa for 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 NCI Agency on Twitter for continued updates on the final day of NITEC17, 26 April.

NITEC17: Innovation is an Ecosystem