Italy Hosts NATO-Industry Forum in Rome

Rome, 17 November 2021– NATO Supreme Allied Commander Transformation Gen. Philippe Lavigne opened the NATO-Industry Forum (NIF) in Rome, Italy, today. The event is sponsored by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, and co-organised with NATO’s Assistant Secretary General for Defence Investment Mr. Camille Grand.

The NIF is the premier event for open dialogue with industry regarding innovation and capability development. This year, over 200 companies and industries are represented at the conference from both defence technology sectors.

“ACT, and NATO as a whole, needs industry to help it maintain this new defence and security ecosystem,” said Gen. Lavigne during his opening remarks. “ACT, and other NATO stakeholders responsible for capability development, are therefore a part of one shared community with industry.”

This year the NATO-Industry Forum discussed the Alliance’s new Strategic Concept, which shapes the direction of travel for NATO over the next decade. The event featured multiple plenary sessions covering a variety of topics including Emerging and Disruptive Technologies, Combat Cloud, and Autonomy and AI. Keynote speakers include Secretary General Stoltenberg and Italian Minister of Defence Lorenzo Guerini.

This is the first time Rome has hosted the NIF.

“This year, all roads truly lead to Rome,” said Grand. “This forum presents both NATO and our industry partners with a unique opportunity to reinforce our bonds that go far beyond simple business partnerships. Our connections and integrations not only strengthen NATO’s military capabilities, but also strengthen all 30 Allied nation’s security.”

As the Assistant Secretary General for Defence Investment, Mr. Grand focuses on the development of military capabilities, the promotion of NATO armaments policies and programs and multinational cooperation. He is chairing the NATO’s Conference of National Armaments Directors (CNAD) and the Consultation, Command, and Control Board (C3B). The Defense Investment Division is also responsible for aviation and airspace management, integrated air and missile defence, liaison with NATO Agencies and collaboration with industry, partner nations and the European Union in all domains associated with armaments and technology.

The Supreme Allied Commander Transformation is one of NATO’s two strategic commanders. ACT was created in 2003 to ensure the Alliance has the requisite thinking, capabilities and education and training to keep a military edge against any and all adversaries. ACT harnesses innovative principles to enhance NATO’s ability to respond to threats with a speedy and agile military instrument of power. ACT ensures that NATO’s war fighting capabilities remain relevant, provides an indispensable understanding of current and future security challenges, and contributes to the development of NATO doctrine, concepts and interoperability standards. The Command is also responsible for NATO’s training and education programs.

“We face an uncertain future,” said Gen. Lavigne, “but we face it together. My message is, therefore: Let us be bold enough to embrace innovation, smart enough to grow our agility, and open enough to learn from Allies’ industries. We can win only by working together, as a team, and I am excited about that shared future.”

Photo courtesy NATO SACT