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Innovation Challenge


The NCI Agency is looking to leverage effective and innovative solutions that can make a difference for NATO. Launched in 2016, our Defence Innovation Challenge is an important opportunity for industry, particularly start-ups and small and medium enterprises, to get feedback on their solutions from NATO entities. Through the Innovation Challenge, participating organizations contribute to accelerating transformational, state-of-the-art technology solutions in support of NATO C4ISR and cyber capability requirements.

The Challenge is also intended to further expand the innovation ecosystem and support small businesses by awarding a 'top finishers' package to up to ten proposals and providing them a stage to pitch their solutions to relevant audiences. Since 2020, alongside the pitch process, participants may be invited to enter a competition to turn their solution into an operational capability. As part of this stage, the invited winners will be offered the opportunity to demonstrate their solutions in a NATO environment, to a relevant NATO audience.

A panel of judges evaluates the submitted proposals and pitches based on the degree of innovation, impact potential and implementation feasibility.

How to participate

Any company from all 30 NATO Nations can respond to the call for proposals of the Challenge. Challenges addressing specific topics and problem statements, together with detailed instructions on how to submit your company's proposal and terms of reference, are published on the NCI Agency's website.

Discover more about the 2019 top finishers and their solutions here.

More information on the 2020 challenge winners can be found here.

Read more about the winners of the Space Pitch Day 2021 here.

Current challenges

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