NATO Innovation Hub Partners with Academia for its First-Ever, Fully Online Wargame

Disinformation DTEx

Brigade General Poul Primdahl's visit to DTEx
DTEX falicitators manage their online teams


The NATO Innovation Hub hosted its first ever, fully online wargame, a Disruptive Technology Experiment (DTEX), on Wednesday. This event was co-organized with ODU’s Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (IIE) and involved multiple and international participants from US and Czech universities and innovation entities : Old Dominion University, Virginia Wesleyan University, American University, John Hopkins University, Czech Technical University, Charles University and Defense and Security Innovation Hub from Czech Republic. Communication experts and military from NATO and nations brought their expertise into the experiment.

The Disruptive Technology Experiment (DTEX) is a new style of NATO wargame designed to quickly test ideas and technologies that can solve problems for NATO. This DTEX explored 46 technological solutions identified during the NATO Innovation Challenge held in the spring of this year. That Challenge and this DTEX targeted solutions for identifying and countering the rising number of COVID19-related disinformation campaigns targeting NATO, member nations, and partners and allies across the world.


DTEx Facilitators
Brigade General Poul Primdahl's visit

ACOS Brigadier General Poul Primdahl visited the NATO Innovation Hub to observe the event: “This online DTEX is an excellent format to test innovative solutions and reflects the great collaboration between Academia and the NATO innovation Hub. The NATO Innovation Hub is rather a unique entity. It allows NATO to expand its perspective by giving access to a broad community of experts around the world. Connecting to non-traditional military actors helps us to stay agile and adapts to fast evolving threats, such as disinformation” he said, referring to the wargame and collaborative efforts between Academia and NATO ACT.

“We saw an opportunity to test the dozens of ideas we got through the recent open innovation challenge we had partnered with NATO on,” said IIE’s Girish Nandakumar, the chief architect of the DTEX wargame. “We redesigned an existing NATO tabletop wargame with the primary goal of hosting it fully online and within a workday. This enabled us to have participants from multiple Universities across the US and Europe” he added.

“Innovation within NATO is key if we want to stay up to speed. The NATO Innovation Hub covers all the spectrum of Innovation, from the Innovation challenge to this DTEX to delivering products to our NATO end-users. DTEX is one of the many tools the Hub has implemented to test the feasibility and viability of ideas and solutions. Wargames are part of this continuous innovation cycle. As a matter of fact, we have just launched our new Innovation Challenge on maritime autonomous systems in partnership with Italy. This really illustrates that Innovation is a never-ending process”, said Serge Da Deppo, founder of the NATO Innovation Hub.

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