In cooperation with AFCEA UK Chapters  

The New Face of War? Refresh the Approach to the Digitalisation of our Armed Forces!







The Cyber and C4ISR lessons drawn from the current war in Ukraine, new technologies and the disruption caused by them, and the new UK "Digital Exploitation for Defence and Deterrence" strategy provide a substantial background in the rapidly changing security environment in Europe. The conference aims to reflect the needs of this environment and its influence on defence IT and revised cooperation between industry and military by discussing:

  • Revisited operational requirements & technologies available and needed for C5ISR in light of intensified conflicts and the current war.
  • Emerging technologies in C4ISR and Cyber and their impact.
  • New concepts and strategies to refresh the digitalization of Western Armed Forces.
  • Accelerated procurement practices in the age of digitalisation of the Armed Forces.

The conference aimed to facilitate a fruitful exchange of ideas and gain insights from military leaders and experts from various nations, NATO representatives, and industry.

There were new strategies, policies, and approaches to allow us to compete, fight, and win, in the modern battlespace. We hope that the outcome of TechNet Europe 2023 offered a starting point for a new relationship between government and industry.



The Programme Overview 


The two-day conference explored the "shocks" which are driving the rapid change we currently face in digitising our Armed Forces. The most relevant include lessons identified from the war in Ukraine and the ever-increasing speed of innovation in Defence IT, including Emerging and Disruptive Technologies. The Western Armed Forces no longer can afford to procure solutions and services the same way they did in the past when received products were already technologically outdated by the time they entered service or were delivered.

There are initiatives from many sides to expedite processes and to utilise the power of already established dual-use technologies as well as thought leadership from governments, academia as well as industry for the purpose of exploring new ways of responding to urgent needs in wartime, to field sophisticated technologies faster, and to enter into a new relationship between military and industry during the in-service and upgrading phase of the defence IT life cycle.

To this end, during the first part of the conference, we :

  • Analysed current lessons identified from the war in Ukraine, both regarding relevant technology employed on the battlefield and procedural procurement innovations, and
  • Presented fields or specific examples of rapidly evolving technologies (including Emerging and Disruptive Technologies, EDT) which may force the military and government to integrate commercial solutions, open standards, and make products available quickly, etc. to a higher standard, as well as deliver them faster than before.

During the second part of the conference, we explored jointly between attendees from government, industry, and academia.

  • The refreshing new conceptual approach towards the digitalisation of Armed Forces, the „Digital Exploitation for Deterrence and Defence"
  • Ways to place IT Defence solutions from industry in the future into the hands of the war fighters more cooperatively and swiftly.