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EU CSDPCommon Security and Defence Policy Innovation Day

EU CSDPCommon Security and Defence Policy Innovation Day

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Sharing and connecting. Having spirited discussions and listening to international experts. In a nutshell: creating a forum that fosters innovation and brings key players from throughout the European Union together. That is what the EU Common Security Defence Policy Innovation Day was all about.

Military personnel from different countries talking.

International exchange and networking were at the heart of the EU CSDPCommon Security and Defence Policy Innovation Day

Bundeswehr/Kjell Tandetzke

In many respects, the cyber and information domain, the fifth distinct military domain – in addition to the land, air, maritime and space domains – is about speed. Effects are often immediate. New technologies can quickly transform the conduct of entire operations. Things that seemed certain yesterday are being called into question today. How can we address this situation? With innovation and integration. These are the two topics Lieutenant General Michael Vetter, Director-General for Cyber/Information Technology at the Federal Ministry of Defence, focussed on in opening the first EU Common Security Defence Policy Innovation Day.

The bigger picture – learning with the future in mind

One area of innovation is the use of artificial intelligence. In the “Artificial Intelligence: Ambitions, Conditions and Reality” panel discussion, all the participants agreed that AI is a key technology and will play an increasingly important role in the future. The participants returned again and again to the question of “how?”. Everyone agreed that rules that are binding for the military and industry and in line with ethical standards are a key foundation. In this context, a strict distinction was made between things such as autonomous weapon systems and using AI to support data evaluation and decision-making.

The second panel talked about how to deal with such innovations and what it means to learn. First and foremost, “Global Powers: Learn and Adapt from Confrontations” showed that large amounts of data and especially evaluating this data are a capability that shapes modern conflicts and how they are handled. In this context, the role of the European Union and its member states was consistently taken into consideration.


A panel discussion with several people at the EU CSDP Innovation Day

Artificial intelligence and how this cutting-edge technology drives innovations was the topic of a panel discussion at the EU CSDPCommon Security and Defence Policy Innovation Day

Bundeswehr/Kjell Tandetzke
Several people are sitting on a stage. A man is speaking into a microphone.

The second panel of the day was all about innovation and learning from current conflicts

Bundeswehr/Kjell Tandetzke

“Cooperation across all domains and all of our countries”

Not only did the Cyber and Information Domain Service organise the event, but its Chief, Vice Admiral Dr Thomas Daum, also participated. Doing so was a matter of course for him since the major organisational element he leads is the “eyes, ears and central nervous system of the armed forces in any kind of modern conflict”, as he put it in his closing speech. He also emphasised the importance of learning, which goes far beyond the topic of a single panel discussion. We must strive to learn together and from each other, and to be more than the sum of the individual parts. This is a goal of events like this Innovation Day. It was therefore fitting that the event was organised by the same team that is also behind the German element of the Cyber and Information Domain Coordination Centre, a European Union project. 

The Bundeswehr Cyber Innovation Hub hosted the event. The innovation unit of the Federal Ministry of Defence works closely with the Cyber and Information Domain Service major organisational element and provides much more than just its premises. In an atmosphere of innovation and dynamism, it builds bridges and connects the Bundeswehr to the world of start-ups on a regular basis. With the Bundeswehr Intrapreneurship Centre (Zentrum für Intrapreneurship der Bundeswehr), which opened on the same day to act as a central point of contact within the Bundeswehr Cyber Innovation Hub, new approaches are being taken to implementing innovations from the forces for the forces. 

An admiral is speaking. Behind him are the words “Cyber Innovation Hub”.

Dr Thomas Daum, Chief of the German Cyber and Information Domain Service, thanked the Cyber Innovation Hub, which hosted the event, in his closing speech

Bundeswehr/Kjell Tandetzke

“We cannot meet the challenges of tomorrow alone. Not as one major organisational element on its own, and not as one country on its own. We need cooperation across all domains and all of the countries that are represented here”, concluded Vice Admiral Dr Daum at the end of the day. Many new starting points and foundations for this kind of cooperation resulted from this first EU CSDPCommon Security and Defence Policy Innovation Day.

by  Public Affairs Office CIDS  email


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