NCI Agency announces qualifiers of 2020 Defence Innovation Challenge

September 30, 2020 – The NATO Communications and Information (NCI) Agency announced on Wednesday (30 September) the top eight qualifiers of the 2020 NCI Agency Defence Innovation Challenge.

The evaluation panel selected eight proposals for the next phase of the Innovation Challenge. The challenge aims to accelerate transformational, state-of-the-art ideas, technologies and solutions from start-ups, small businesses and academia in support of NATO.

This year, it focuses on improving distributed radar data processing so that NATO’s air operations can tap into the latest technologies available in the defence sector and beyond. The submissions were assessed against criteria including innovation, implementation feasibility and cost-effectiveness. The challenge is in its fifth year.

The top qualifiers are from Canada, the Czech Republic, Germany, Poland and Turkey. They will be invited to participate in a pitch session at NATO’s NITEC Connect virtual event in early November.

“We were impressed by the caliber of this year’s submissions. We look forward to learning more about the proposals at NITEC Connect this year and to discover the best qualified companies,” said Dr Peter Lenk, Chief of Service Strategy and Innovation at the NCI Agency.

The Innovation Challenge jury is composed of subject matter experts from NATO and AFWERX, a United States Air Force organization focused on innovation. They will evaluate the live pitches in November and announce the top finishers, who may subsequently be invited to bid for a contract in this area.

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