December 7, 2013

Baltic Defence Innovation Conference 2013 held in Tallinn

On 3-4 December, Estonia hosted Baltic Defence Innovation Conference 2013, a collaborative project of the defence ministries of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania as well as the Baltic Defence College (BALTDEFCOL) and the International Centre for Defence Studies (ICDS). The event was launched as a forum for generating and exchanging innovative ideas on defence capabilities development and promoting novel solutions to the current and future conceptual, organisational, operational and technological challenges confronting the armed forces of the three Baltic states.

7.12.2013
On 3-4 December, Estonia hosted Baltic Defence Innovation Conference 2013, a collaborative project of the defence ministries of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania as well as the Baltic Defence College (BALTDEFCOL) and the International Centre for Defence Studies (ICDS). The event was launched as a forum for generating and exchanging innovative ideas on defence capabilities development and promoting novel solutions to the current and future conceptual, organisational, operational and technological challenges confronting the armed forces of the three Baltic states.
The 2013 event explored various aspects underpinning success in military innovation, including multinational defence collaboration and interaction between military, science and industry. It also reflected, through the lenses of innovation, on various themes of Baltic defence cooperation, in which Estonia is the lead nation this year. These themes included future combat platforms, indirect fire support and ground-based air defence capabilities, future maritime mine countermeasures, ISTAR (Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition, Reconnaissance) and C3 (Command, Control and Communications) systems, Modelling and Simulation (M&S), human factors and military sciences. New concepts for energy efficiency of military units, innovative approaches to organising cyber defence efforts and achievements in developing Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) were also discussed at the conference. Examples of successful military innovation structures and programmes of the Nordic countries and NATO Allied Command Transformation supplied further ideas on how the Baltic states could better organise their military innovation systems and improve the innovativeness of their armed forces.
The conference brought together 170 military and civilian subject matter experts, defence and operational planners, concept and doctrine developers, military educators, defence attachés, scientists and industry representatives from Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania as well as Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Poland, Norway, Sweden and the United States. The event was opened by Brigadier General Meelis Kiili, Commander of the Estonian Defence League, and Major General Vitalijus Vaikšnoras, Commandant of the Baltic Defence College. Major General Albert Husniaux, NATO Chief Scientist and Chairman of NATO Science and Technology Board, delivered a keynote speech on the role of science and technology in military innovation. Mr Oliver Väärtnõu, Board Member of the Estonian Defence Industry Association and Director of the Estonian Government’s Strategy Bureau, presented his perspective on the role of industry in military innovation processes. (The full event programme can be found on its website at bdic.icds.ee).
Baltic Defence Innovation Conference 2013 was funded by the Estonian Ministry of Defence and was also supported by the Estonian Defence Industry Association. It is expected that, in the future, this forum will continue as a biennial event, conducted in the Baltic states on a rotating basis and involving the Nordic partners from the NORDEFCO as well as other regional stakeholders of defence innovation.

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