Dogtown Media to Present Winning Solution of Defense Innovation Challenge at NITEC18

May 21, 2018 - 7 minutes read

Innovation keeps the world spinning. It forms the foundation for our future. The Defense Innovation Challenge is a competition held by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the NATO Communications and Information (NCI) Agency to fuel the creative “fire” that keeps humanity moving forward.

For this year’s challenge, Dogtown Media was selected as a winner of the “Mobile Apps for Defense Users” category. It’s an incredible honor that words can’t possibly do justice. Our CEO and co-founder, Marc Fischer, will be receiving the award and presenting our solution in Berlin at the end of May at NITEC18.

Accelerating Digital Endeavors

The Defense Innovation Challenge is a challenge “aimed at accelerating transformational, state-of-the-art technology solutions from small businesses and academia in support of NATO C4ISR and cyber capabilities.” Open to small and medium enterprises as well as academic institutions from all 29 NATO Nations, competition is fierce, to put it mildly.

This is fair, however, when you consider the monumental ambitions of the initiative. “We are seeking to broaden engagement with innovative technology drivers as NATO undergoes its largest technological modernization in decades,” explains Kevin Scheid, the General Manager of the NCI Agency.

The third Defense Innovation Challenge focused on digital innovation. The breadth of fields this topic touches upon is basically infinite; autonomous sensors, IoT security, natural language processing, and cutting-edge mobile app development are just a few of the examples that are fair game.

Competition and Collaboration Spurs Innovation

Winners for this year’s challenge are invited to receive their rewards and showcase their solutions at NITEC18, an annual three-day tech summit held by the NCI Agency. Taking place in Berlin, Germany from May 22nd to May 24th, the theme of this year’s event is ‘NATO’s Digital Endeavour: Expanding the Ecosystem’.

The event was organized between NATO, the NCI Agency, and the Federal Ministry of Defense of Germany. With well over 600 military, political, security, and tech pioneers in attendance, NITEC serves as an opportunity for these world leaders to examine the current technological quandaries facing NATO and how to address them.

This is absolutely crucial; the plethora of problems facing NATO make it practically impossible for the organization to keep up with technological advancements, so this collaboration in the form of competition between academia, businesses, research institutions, and other entities is virtually the only way NATO can stay ahead of the curve.

Berlin Is the Place to Be

Keeping in line with the subject matter of this year’s NITEC, much of the attention will be focused on myriad aspects of revamping NATO to be ready for the digital age. Attendees will gather at the German Ministry of Defense for the conference kickoff. From there, the next three days will be jam-packed with presentations, workshops and discussion sessions between government officials, procurement officers, and thought leaders in the tech space.

Among the speakers will be NCI Agency Manager Kevin Scheid, Roger Krone, the CEO of Leidos, and Thomas B. Modly, the Undersecretary of the U.S. Navy. Saying this list of prestigious guest is just “the tip of the iceberg” is an understatement. Workshops on successful project bidding, NATO procurement procedures, and commercialization of products will also be given.

Disrupting the Status Quo of Soldier Safety

Marc will be flying out from Dogtown Media’s development studio in Los Angeles to receive Dogtown Media’s award and present our unique solution to improve soldier health and well-being. It’s indisputable that the battlefield is a brutal environment, and any aid a solder receives is an integral advantage.

By utilizing facets of the Internet of Things, encryption, and mobile technology, Dogtown Media conceived a wearable device that would allow for soldiers to send out a distress signal during dire times. The signal would notify medics of their location while keeping this information concealed from enemies. Initiatives could then be carried out to administer life-saving treatment for the person in need.

The wearable can be used during training as well as real battle scenarios. And besides the distress beacon, the device is also outfitted with sensors and scheduling mechanisms that make it easy to keep contact with the wearer and monitor different health variables like hydration. Currently, a prototype has been constructed, but there is still room to include other sensors or equipment so that other useful features can be added to the device.

Making the Future a Reality Today

The Defense Innovation Challenge and NITEC are part of NATO’s largest initiative to modernize the organization’s technology since the end of the Cold War. There is immense innovation going on in numerous fields to bring everything up-to-date, but this is still just the beginning.

It is an honor of the highest prestige for Dogtown Media to be recognized by NATO for our wearable solution. We know there were thousands of ingenious innovations submitted, so it’s been a truly surprising and humbling experience. 2018 has been a fantastic year for us, and we can’t wait to see where this event and the coming months take us next.

Stay tuned for updates, and in the meantime, keep innovating!

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