Monday, 18 January 2021

11:00 - 12:15

Session I “The strategic importance and added-value of collaborative combat”

The need to connect forces is nothing new but has been impacted by two major factors. On the one hand, today’s operations tend to involve smaller numbers of troops, who are geographically further removed from HQ. On the other, technological advances have radically changed this connection. From earlier concepts of network-centric warfare to today’s Federated Mission System, collaborative combat has been at the heart of transformation efforts for Armed Forces across the land, maritime, air and cyber domains. Collaborative combat based on information superiority gives forces a significant advantage in combat. This is true at national level, and even more so at international level: almost all military operations are today conducted in coalition, hence the need to connect men and systems.

How have various nations tackled the issue of collaborative combat, and can international bodies such as NATO or the EU support this transformation effort?

Online panel discussion with

  • Lieutenant General Vincent Guionie, Commander, French Land Forces

  • Lieutenant General Pierre Gillet, Commander, Rapid Reaction Corps France

  • Lieutenant General Pascal Delerce, Deputy Commander, Allied Air Command

16:00 - 17:15

Session II “Leveraging new technology for modernisation programmes”

Data exploitation works as a loop: before reaching decision-makers and C2 structures, it first needs to be collected. Once exploited and valued, information must then be shared among the different units on the grounds to ensure the efficient running of the operation. To this end, Armed Forces also need to adapt and modernise their equipment to meet the new challenges of modern warfare. As an example, SCORPION is one of France’s most ambitious land modernisation programmes to date and marks a shift towards thinking land capabilities as one system. The system is built on the concept of collaborative combat and offers insights and lessons learnt for future modernisation efforts.

What added value will current modernisation programmes bring to the C2? How will new technological possibilities impact the conduct of operations?

Online panel discussion with

  • General (Rtd.) Charles Beaudouin, CEO COGES International and former Deputy Chief of Staff for Planning and Programmes in the French Land Forces

  • Brigadier General Martin Konertz, Director Capability, Armament & Planning, European Defence Agency

  • Axel Dyèvre, Partner, CEIS-Avisa Partners

Tuesday, 19 January 2021

11:00 - 12:15

Session III “Optimising the use of data for Command & Control: the issue of subsidiarity ”


More information is an advantage only if correctly managed and shared. Big Data indeed raises a number of technological, organisational and human issues which affect C2. For instance, the distinction between the strategic, operational and tactical can become blurred with shortened and multiplied OODA loops. Abundance of information can also lead to cognitive overload at individual and group level, thus disrupting existing decision-making processes. Information must therefore be properly organised to be shared both by and with the right recipients in order to maintain operational efficiency and avoid the ”everyone knows thus no-one knows” syndrome.

How are military leaders adapting to these challenges and how can technology offer solutions to this end? How closely should Armed Forces and industrial players work to develop the tools needed for tomorrow’s collaborative combat?

Online panel discussion with

  • Lieutenant General Sir Edward Smyth-Osbourne KCVO CBE, Commander, Allied Rapid Reaction Corps (ARRC)

  • Lieutenant General Andreas Marlow, Commander, German Netherlands Corps (1GNC)

  • Lieutenant General Stuart R. Skeates CBE, Deputy Commander, Joint Force Command Brunssum (JFCB)

  • Chief Engineer Yann Bourez, Joint Centre for Concepts, Doctrine, and Testing (CICDE)

  • Bernard Clermont, Innovation Department Director, John Cockerill

16:00 - 17:15

Session IV "Thinking outside the box: capturing innovation for military uses”

Traditional defence procurement faces a series of challenges when it comes to new technologies. Its long cycles are ill-suited to increasingly rapid cycles of innovation, and cutting-edge innovation often originates in the civilian sector nowadays, upending the historical military-to-civilian standard.


What models have emerged in defence ministries and national armaments directorates to ensure that innovation finds its way to Armed Forces and is adapted to their specific requirements?

Online panel discussion with

  • François Arbault, Director, Coordinator for Defence, DG Defence Industry and Space (DEFIS), European Commission

  • Camille Grand, Assistant Secretary General for Defence Investment, NATO

  • Gary Aitkenhead, Director, UK Defence Science and Technology Laboratory

  • David  Tennenhouse, Chief Research Officer, VMware