Director, United Kingdom Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (UK DSTL)

Gary Aitkenhead has a broad background in Technology Research & Development and Commercial leadership with a track record of revenue growth and business transformation. After achieving a first class honours degree from the University of Strathclyde in Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Gary spent much of his career in the development and supply of mission-critical wireless communications solutions to public safety, industrial and transportation sectors. Gary held senior positions (Vice President) at Motorola Solutions and latterly Sepura plc for more than 20 years, covering sales, services, operations and product management.


Gary’s experience includes both global and regional (Europe, Middle East and Africa) roles and profit/loss responsibility of more than $1B. He was appointed Chief Executive of Dstl in January 2018 and leads this government organisation of over 4000 scientists and engineers providing specialist, and in many cases world-leading expertise, across a wide-range of disciplines.

François ARBAULT

Director, Coordinator for Defence, DG DEFIS, European Commission

François Arbault is Director for Defence industry at the European Commission. He previously exercised various responsibilities within the Commission, the most recent being the policy coordination of the “European Green Deal” in the Secretariat-General, and his participation in the negotiation of the Withdrawal Agreement of the United kingdom from the EU at the “Article 50” Task Force.


François had previously been the Head of the “Public procurement strategy” and the “Industrial Property” units in the Commission, after he was successively a member of the cabinets of Commissioners Jacques Barrot and Michel Barnier (2008-2013). François joined the Commission in 1995 after he graduated in law and political science, and studied European affairs at the College of Europe. After having worked notably at the Competition Directorate-General, he was seconded from 2003 to 2005 as a legal clerk (“référendaire”) to the Court of Justice of the European Union, where he was a member of the cabinet of the Portuguese judge at the General Court. François was also a member of the Legal Service of the Commission (2005-2008).      

Major General (Ret.) Charles BEAUDOUIN

CEO of COGES International SAS and former Deputy Chief of Staff for Planning and and Programmes in the French Land Forces

Major General (Ret.) Charles Beaudouin served during 38 years in the French Army. A graduate from the Saint-Cyr Military Academy, he held various positions in armoured regiments, as tank platoon leader, captain commanding the Leclerc experimental squadron, commanding officer of the 6-12th Armoured Regiment in Olivet (Loiret). He commanded during 5 months Combined Arms Task Force 1 in Bouake in Côte d’Ivoire in the framework of Operation LICORNE (2005). A graduate from the higher scientific and technical military education in the field of land weapon systems, and from the Joint Staff College, he attended the Higher Armament Course (44th class).

He spent approximately twelve years in central staffs in Paris, in particular 3 years as head of the Army Staff / Programmes and Weapon Systems Office (2010 - 2013), four years as Director of the Army Technical Branch (2013 - 2017) and then Deputy Chief of Staff “Plans and Programmes”/Army Staff (2017 - 2020), which was his last appointment as a military. Since October 2020, Major General (Ret.) Beaudouin is CEO of COGES Events. 

He is commandeur of the Légion d’honneur and commandeur of the Ordre national du mérite. He holds the Croix de la valeur militaire and the medal of courage and dedication.

Chief Engineer (Armament) Yann BOUREZ

Joint Domain Officer in charge of Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Soldier and Robotics in the Joint Centre for Concepts, Doctrine and Experimentation (CICDE)

Graduated from the École Nationale Supérieure des Ingénieurs des Études et Techniques d'Armement (ENSIETA, National School of Arms Design and Engineering, Brest, France) in 2001, Chief Engineer Yann Bourez worked for twenty years in the Technical Directorate (DT) of the French Armament General Directorate (DGA).

As a military engineer, he held several positions related to the technical specification and qualification at sea of surface ships and submarines, mine warfare, submarine warfare and nuclear deterrence. He also worked for the DGA's Naval Technical Authority by conducting safety studies on naval weapon systems.

Graduated from the École de Guerre (EG, War College, Paris) in 2020, he has since been conducting operational foresight studies for the French Joint Defence Staff in the field of Emerging and Disruptive Technologies (EDT).


Director of the Innovation Department, John Cockerill Defence

Bernard Clermont, holds a Master of Science in Engineering in Aerospace Electro-Mechanics, University of Liège and a Degree in Technology Management, University of Brussels – Solvay Business School.

He has worked at John Cockerill Defence, formerly named CMI Defense, since 1985, starting in the Engineering department in charge of the development of armament and turret systems that are fielded in a variety of Middle Eastern countries. Moving to the position of Quality Manager for programs with AV-Tech (US) and with GKN (UK). He was then appointed Vice President in charge of Reliability, Safety and Maintainability studies, notably leading the technical and test program discussions with GDLS and TACOM related to FMS. He was the project manager for the development of the new generation of architectures for turret system and was a member of the Lethality and Turret Systems Rainbow Team on the FRES program. After the completion of that development, he took in charge the Proposals Department and Business Development defining the Technical and Commercial offers for the major Defence programs in Middle East and Asian countries. Before becoming the director of the Innovation Department, he was appointed as General Manager of CMI Defence entity in France and CEO of Agueris. 

Bernard Clermont made its military duty as Reserve Officer in Artillery Land Forces, Belgian Army. He is member of the Agueris board, member of the SERA Councillor Committee at IHEDN (France) and member of industrial representative panels for CapTech (EDA) and ASD for Land Applications.

Lieutenant General Pascal DELERCE

Deputy Commander, NATO Allied Air Command

Lieutenant General Pascal Delerce, French Air Force, has been the Deputy Commander of NATO’s Allied Air Command, headquartered at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, since August 2019.

He joined the French Air Force Academy in Salon-de-Provence in 1985 and graduated as a fighter pilot in 1988. Serving in operating units on Mirage F1C and M2000 as Air Defence pilot he has flown more than 2,500 flying hours among others during 115 combat missions in operations over Chad, Iraq and Kosovo.

After attending the French War College, he took command of the 2/2 Fighter Squadron «Côte d’Or» in 2002. During this operational period, he participated in several major exercises such as Tactical Leadership Programme, Red Flag and Maple Flag and shared his expertise inside NATO structures. In 2003, he served as an expert in the execution of policy at the French Air Force inspectorate with a focus on air safety. Four years later, he was assigned to the General Secretariat for National Defence, an inter-ministerial body under the authority of the French Prime Minister. Within the framework of the Air Security project his main tasks included Air Policing and military and civilian airport security. In the summer 2009, he became Commander of Tours Air Base and, subsequently, the representative at French Air Force Air Staff and Secretary General of the Military Council for Staff in Paris, where he looked after the airmen conditions.

In 2013, he was appointed as Commander of the National Air Operations Centre at Lyon. Promoted Brigadier General on 1 August 2015, he assumed command of the Air Operations Brigade at the Air Defence and Air Operations Command; during this time he assumed command of the Joint Force Air Component for Central and West Africa located in Lyon, leading several air and joint operations in this theater, in coordination with the operational level in N’Djamena, Chad. In 2017, he was appointed as Chief of Staff of the Air Force Command in Bordeaux-Merignac. 



Partner, CEIS-Avisa Partners

Axel Dyèvre was a cavalry officer for 7 years. From 1995 to 1997, he was a consultant in strategy, following which he was a Senior Partner at DATOPS (now known as LexisNexis Analytics), a software editing firm developing information systems, between 1997 and 2005. There, Axel designed, developed and implemented OSINT solutions (Open source Intelligence) for governmental agencies and private firms.Axel joined CEIS at the start of the organisation in 1997, and set up the company's European Office in 2006.

He  graduated from the Ecole Supérieure de Commerce de Paris (ESCP Business School) where he followed a Business Management course.

Today, Axel is a Partners at CEIS-Avisa Partners, overseeing consulting and research activities for the French Ministry of the Armed Forces, European institutions, and the private sector. 

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Lieutenant General Pierre GILLET

Commander, Rapid Reaction Corps - France (RRC-Fr)

Lieutenant General Pierre GILLET graduated from Saint Cyr Military Academy, the Infantry School in Montpellier and the Joint War College in Paris. He joined the Foreign Legion as a Combat Platoon Leader and Company Executive Officer from 1994 to 1996. After being assigned as an instructor at the Infantry School to train newly arrived young officers, he was posted to the French Foreign Legion Command in 2001, then to the Army Staff / Human Resources Policy as head of studies and synthesis from 2003 to 2006. Selected for Command in 2006, he was posted to the 2nd Foreign Legion Regiment in Nîmes until 2008 before returning to the Centre for Higher Military Studies in Paris. In 2009 he was selected to become Deputy Head of Human resources on the French Joint Staff and, then in July 2011 he became the Deputy Planning Officer at the Joint Operations Centre.  Promoted to Brigadier General on 1st August 2014, he assumed command of the 6th Light Armoured Brigade in Nîmes. On 1st August 2016, he was appointed Commandant of the Military Schools in Draguignan, Commander of the Draguignan Defence Support Base, Commandant of the Infantry School, and Military Commander of the Draguignan-Canjuers Garrison. 

He was promoted to Major General on 1st August 2017 and appointed Chief of Staff of Rapid Reaction Corps France in July 2018. He took command of RRC France on 29th August 2019, promoting to Lieutenant General on the same day. 

During his career, Lieutenant General GILLET was deployed to several operational theatres: Chad (Operation EPERVIER), Saudi Arabia and Iraq (1st Gulf War), Djibouti (Operation ISKOUTIR), twice to Sarajevo (UNPROFOR 2 and multinational brigade), three times to the Central African Republic (EFAO and Operation BOALI COMANFOR SANGARIS) and in Ivory Coast (Operation LICORNE). 


Camille GRAND

Assistant Secretary General for Defence Investment, NATO

Prior to joining NATO, Camille Grand was Director and CEO of the Fondation pour la recherche stratégique (FRS), the leading French think tank on defence and security (2008-16), where he served on several expert groups on the future of NATO (Advisor to the Group of Experts on the Strategic Concept chaired by Madeleine Albright in 2009-10, Member of the Group of Policy Experts for the Wales Summit in 2014). His research and publications focused on defence policy, NATO, nuclear policy, and missile defence.

He was also Deputy Director for Disarmament and Multilateral Affairs in the Directorate for Strategic, Security and Disarmament Affairs of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2006-08). Prior to that, he was Special Assistant for International Affairs and Deputy Diplomatic Adviser to the French Minister of Defence (2002-06), in charge of international defence and armament cooperation, policy planning, and nuclear and missile defence policies.

Camille Grand has lectured at the Paris School of International Affairs at Sciences Po Paris, at the Ecole Nationale d'Administration and at the French Army Academy, Ecole spéciale militaire de St Cyr-Coëtquidan.

He was a member of the Conseil général de l'armement (National Advisory Board on Armament and Technology, chaired by the French Minister of Defence) from 2012, and a member of the United Nations Secretary General's Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters from 2014.

Lieutenant General Vincent GUIONIE

Commander of the French Land Forces 

Lieutenant General Vincent Guionie joined the French military academy in 1982 and chose to serve in the Troupes de Marine. He was appointed as a lieutenant and then Officer Commanding a company to the 8 Marine infantry airborne Regiment (8e RPIMa) in 1991. His tour of duty included Cambodia, Central African Republic and Sarajevo.He was promoted major in 1995 and completed the War College course in Paris from 1996 to 1998/ The next year, he was promoted Lieutenant-Colonel. Returning to the 8 Marine infantry airborne Regiment, his tour included a commitment in Kosovo in 2002, and to the Republic of Djibouti as ACOS OPS of the French Forces Joint Staff. In 2004, he was promoted to Colonel and spent the next year in Côte d’Ivoire as the Force Commander’s military assistant. Returning to France, he was appointed as the Commanding Officer of the 8 Marine infantry airborne Regiment, from July 2005 to July 2007 and was involved in EUFOR RDC operation in Gabon and Democratic Republic of Congo.After being an auditor of the 59th promotion of the military Centre for Higher Studies and of the 62th promotion of the National Defence Institute, he was promoted to brigadier general on August 2013. 


From September 2013 till January 2014, he acted as deputy general in charge of operations at the Joint Headquarters of the SERVAL operation in Mali. He participates to the major naval and amphibious exercise “Catamaran” in October 2014 as the commander of the landing forces.

In August 2015, he was appointed Commanding Officer of the French Forces in Gabon. Promoted to Major general the 1st of August 2016, he was appointed in Paris as deputy of the vice-chief of the General Staff, in charge of resources and organization of the Army. The 1st of September 2018, he was promoted Lieutenant general and appointed in Lille, as commander of the land forces.

Brigadier General Martin KONERTZ

Director Capability, Armament & Planning, European Defence Agency

Brigadier General Martin Konertz joined the German Federal Armed Forces (Bundeswehr) in 1976 as an officer candidate. He stayed there until 1989 as a signals (electronic warfare) platoon leader and company commander and, during that time, also earned a degree in electrical engineering at Bundeswehr University Hamburg. From 1989 to 1991, he attended the General Staff officers’ training at the Bundeswehr Command and Staff College in Hamburg, before serving as Adviser for NATO-related issues at the Federal Ministry of Defence in Bonn from 1991 to 1994.

In the following year (until 1995), Martin Konertz followed courses at the Royal Military College of Science (Cranfield University, UK) which he concluded with a Master of Sciences in Defence Technologies. From 1995 to 1996, he served in the 37th Light Infantry Brigade as Head of Operations in Frankenberg, Saxony, before becoming the Commander of the 5th Headquarters and Signals Battalion in Koblenz (1996-1998). From 1998 to 1999, Martin Konertz worked at the German-American V Corps in Heidelberg as Head of the German Delegation before becoming Press Officer for the German Army Chief of Staff at the Ministry of Defence in Bonn (1999-2001). From 2001 to 2003, Martin Konertz served at the 10th Armoured Division in Sigmaringen as Head of Operations, including six months as ACOS OPS MNB(SW) KFOR. Afterwards, he spent a year (2003- 2004) at the Ecole Militaire in Paris, where he followed a CHEM/IHEDN course.

In August 2004, Martin Konertz was appointed as Deputy Commander and Chief of Staff at the Strategic Reconnaissance Command in Rheinbach where he stayed until November 2008, before being promoted to Deputy Defence Adviser at the Permanent Delegation of the Federal Republic of Germany to NATO in Brussels. From August 2011 until his appointment at the European Defence Agency, he served as Branch Chief Multinational Defence Planning at the German MoD in Bonn. 


Lieutenant General Andreas MARLOW

Commander 1 German/Netherlands Corps

Lieutenant General Andreas Marlow is the Commander of NATO Rapid Deployment Headquarters 1 German/Netherlands Corps. This unit, consisting of 12 nations, is capable of commanding worldwide land operations on short notice. Lieutenant General Marlow joined the German Army in 1982 as an officer candidate in a tank battalion. Prior to his current assignment, he was the sixth Chief of Staff Headquarters Resolute Support in Kabul/Afghanistan.

Lieutenant General Marlow served as the German's Army's Rapid Forces Division Commander (2015 - 2019) after having been Commander of the Armored and Recce Forces Training Center (2013 - 2014) and commander of a Mechanized Infantry Brigade (2011 - 2013). Lieutenant General Marlow gained ministerial experience during two assignments in the German Ministry of Defence, where he served as Head of Office to the Chief Defence Staff of the German Armed Forces (2014 - 2015) and as Branch Head Personnel Management of Army Generals and Colonels (2009 - 2011).

As Commander of Tank Battalion 403 (2004 - 2006) he was deployed as Chief of Staff of the German contingent with NATO KFOR mission in Kosovo. During his assignment as Commander of Mechanized Infantry Brigade 41 (2011 - 2013) he deployed to Afghanistan and served as Deputy Chief of Staff Security at ISAF's Regional Command North in Mazar-e Sharif. In his last deployment, he served as Chief of Staff at RS HQ (2019 - 2020) in Kabul.

He has a diploma in Educational Sciences from the University of Bundeswehr Hamburg (1986), attended the 38th General Staff Officer Course (1995 - 1997) and the 26th Command and Staff Course at the Canadian Forces College, Toronto, Canada (1999 - 2000).


General (Ret.) Jean-Paul PALOMÉROS

Senior Advisor, CEIS-Avisa Partners, and former NATO Supreme Allied Commander Transformation (SACT)

General Jean Paul Paloméros occupied several positions within the French Air Force. As SACT, General Paloméros was in charge of preparing NATO's military forces and capabilities to face current and future missions assigned to The Atlantic Alliance. His tasks ranged from military strategy, capability development, collective education, training and exercises for 28 NATO nations. General Paloméros has in-depth expertise on the impact of digital transformation and cyberdefence.

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Lieutenant General Stuart R. Skeates CBE

Deputy Commander, Joint Force Command Brunssum (JFCB)

Lieutenant General Stuart Skeates was educated at The Judd School Tonbridge, King's College London and Sandhurst. He was commissioned into the Royal Regiment of Artillery in 1988. 


His regimental service was spent in field artillery based in Germany and the United Kingdom, including service with airborne and air assault forces. His staff position have included Deputy Chief of Staff to the newly-formed 16th Air Assault Brigade, Military Assistant to the General Officer Commanding Northern Ireland and Deputy Assistant Chief of Staff J3 Operations in the Permanent Joint Headquarters. 


He has commanded 26th Regiment Royal Artillery, 19th Light Brigade in Northern Ireland, been Deputy Commander of 52 Brigade as Task Force Helmand, Deputy Commanding General of 1st Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward) as Regional Command (South-West) and Commandant of the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. Most recently, he was the UK's Standing Joint Force Commander. 


He has served on operations in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iraq, Afghanistan, the Balkans, Cyprus and Northern Ireland. He is a graduate of the Advanced Command and Staff Course, the Higher Command and Staff Course and the Major Projects Leadership Academy. 


He is Honorary Colonel 26th Regiment Royal Artillery, a member of the Honorable Artillery Company Regimental Council, Deputy Colonel Commandant of the Adjutant General's Corps (Education and Training Service).

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Lieutenant General Sir Ewald SMYTH-OSBOURNE KCVO CBE

Commander, Allied Rapid Reaction Corps (ARRC)

Born in Devon and bred in Cornwall; educated at West Downs, Eton and St Andrews; he elected to become a regular soldier and joined The Life Guards in West Germany in 1983.  At Regimental Duty he served in the normal appointments ranging from Troop Leader to Commanding Officer in the United Kingdom, Europe, Central America, Balkans, Middle East and Asia.  At Staff he was, at various times, Chief of Staff 42 (North West) Brigade; Staff Officer Grade 2 Tactical Operations at the British Army Training Unit Suffield, Western Canada; Military Assistant to the Commander in Chief; a Staff Officer in the Ministry of Defence, Director Force Reintegration, Headquarters International Security Assistance Force, Afghanistan; and Deputy Commander, NATO Rapid Deployable Corps ̶ Italy.  In command he has led the Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Task Force in Kosovo; the Household Cavalry in Great Britain and Afghanistan; 38 (Irish) Brigade in Ulster; London District and the Household Division.  He holds the appointments of Colonel The Life Guards and Goldstick in Waiting; Colonel Commandant Royal Armoured Corps; Honorary Colonel Tayforth Universities Officer Training Corps; and President of Army Telemark.  Military education included the Staff College at Camberley and the Higher Command and Staff course at the Defence Academy.

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SVP, Chief Research Officer, VMware

David Tennenhouse leads the research & innovation activities that are accelerating and extending VMware’s technology leadership. He also represents VMware’s technology strategy to government customers worldwide.

David has a track record of driving innovation in multiple domains. He has worked in academia, as a faculty member at MIT; in government, at DARPA; in industry at Intel, Amazon/ and Microsoft; and as a partner in a venture capital firm. Dr. Tennenhouse has been involved in the strategic planning and execution of programs related to a wide range of technologies, including distributed/cloud computing, blockchain, networking, computer architecture, storage, wireless communications, machine learning, search/advertising, IoT, robotics, MEMs, healthcare, and nano/bio-technology.

David holds a BASc and MASc in Electrical Engineering from the University of Toronto and obtained his PhD at the University of Cambridge. He is a member of the ACM, a Fellow of the IEEE, and a member of the FCC’s Technological Advisory Council