NATO IH On DemandWelcome to the first of a series of blog posts from the NATO Innovation Hub (IH) – NATO Headquarters Supreme Allied Command Transformation’s (HQ SACT or ACT) driver of innovation. Over the coming weeks we will be introducing you to the people, mission, technologies, and stories that make the IH one of the most exciting parts of NATO – where pioneering solutions are born and evolve into real-world applications

For those of you who aren’t familiar with us, the IH serves an essential mission within the Alliance. With the prioritization of innovation and the development of the IH in 2012, ACT established a fluid problem-solving ecosystem to help everyone in NATO crowd-source support from a worldwide community of experts to develop solutions to challenges faced by NATO and its 30 member nations.

The Innovation Hub is a both virtual and physical collaborative community and platform led by ACT. It is designed to address NATO pain points, innovation questions and opportunities; it is also a unique instrument in that it connects this network in an open, unclassified academic/startup-style environment. And most importantly, its innovation and diverse problem-solving capabilities are open to everyone in the broader NATO Alliance.

Through a variety of projects – or what we call “challenges” – leading experts from academia, industry, government, military, think tanks, foundations, and other entities come together with end-users to help:

  1. Understand a given problem and its environment
  2. Collaboratively design concepts and prototypes to address the challenge
  3. Run suitable experiments and multidisciplinary analyses to assess efficacy
  4. Recommend adopting and implementing the most elegant and innovative solutions

These, efforts – big and small – have resulted in tangible, implemented solutions to real problems threatening our collective security and freedoms. This is both exciting and rewarding!

But the IH is only as strong as its contributors. That’s why we need you – and why we are embarking on a new plan for engaging our existing community – and working to build relationship with people from all professional walks of life who may not know anything about NATO, ACT, or the Innovation Hub.

We look forward to your feedback as we work to build a stronger innovation community. Military and non-military can bring us their issues to solve or their solution proposals. And for those of you who are already with us, we want to express our sincerest thanks and appreciation. With the diversity of minds at the IH table, we know we can efficiently tackle any problem and transform the IH into one of the most called-upon resources at NATO.