NCI Agency 2018 Defence Innovation Challenge for SMEs and Academia

The NATO Communications and Information (NCI) Agency has launched its third annual Defence Innovation Challenge.

The challenge is aimed at accelerating transformational, state-of-the-art technology solutions from small businesses and academia in support of NATO C4ISR and cyber capabilities.

It is open to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and academic institutions operating at the cutting edge of technology from all 29 NATO Nations. This year, the challenge focuses on digital innovation, with the NCI Agency accepting submissions in the following areas:

  • Mobile apps for defence users;
  • Mobile apps for government organizations;
  • Data science: models for natural language processing and translation; speech to text;
  • Data science: application of open source analytic tools;
  • Data visualization;
  • Internet of Things (IoT): autonomous sensors for the battlefield;
  • IoT: secure federation of IoT devices.

Top finishers will be invited to showcase their tech solutions at this year’s NCI Agency Conference and AFCEA TechNet International (NITEC18), entitled ‘NATO’s Digital Endeavour: Expanding the Ecosystem’, taking place on 22-24 May in Berlin, Germany.

“We are seeking to broaden engagement with innovative technology drivers as NATO undergoes its largest technological modernization in decades,” said NCI Agency General Manager Kevin J. Scheid.

The top ten finishers will receive:

  • One full registration waiver;
  • Showcase space at NITEC18;
  • Participation in the award ceremony with NATO leadership;
  • Presentation slot during the plenary session;
  • Inclusion in the NITEC18 report;
  • Inclusion in the industry innovation report in the Communicator magazine;
  • Bilateral meeting with an NCI Agency expert;
  • Mentoring session with one of the SME mentors.

Submission Guidelines

Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and academic institutions from all 29 NATO Nations are invited to participate.

Entries must be received by 6 April 2018.

Winners announced on 30 April 2018.

Proposal summary should demonstrate the unique aspects of your technology, its innovative core and the proposed work as it relates to the focus area while highlighting its relevance to NATO.

To submit your proposal, please complete the form and send it to