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The NATO Communications and Information (NCI) agency is aiming the fourth annual Defence Innovation Challenge at accelerating transformational, state-of-the-art technology solutions from start-ups, small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) and academia in all 29 members states, to support NATO’s C4ISR and cyber capabilities.

It is open to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), start-ups and academic institutions operating at the cutting edge of technology from all 29 NATO Nations.

This year, the challenge focuses on data science and natural language processing, with an emphasis on:

• Data science tools and approaches for a) natural language processing for semantics and sentiment analysis, or b) processing data from maritime environments;

• Capabilities for sensing the maritime environment;

• Solutions to the telecommunication challenges of the High North.

The top ten finalists will get an opportunity to showcase their tech solutions at NCI’s annual industry conference NITEC19 – NATO and the High North: Technology Ultramarathon, scheduled to take place in Oslo 20-22 May. They will receive a variety of privileges coincident with NITEC19 and the overall winner will receive a €10,000 cash award and the opportunity to conduct a formal pilot with NCI to demonstrate their solution.

The NITEC innovation challenge is a great way for a wide range of companies and organisations to share their innovative products and services with the NCI Agency. It is one of the routes we use to ensure that NATO’s technology experts stay aware of how innovative technologies are being applied,” explained NCI Head of Innovation and Data Science, Mike Street.

NATO continues to try stimulation of the SME sector in order to generate the innovation the alliance needs to confront the widening threat envelope. (Photo: NATO)

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