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The second NATO Hackathon took place from 27 to 31 March 2017 in the city of London, United Kingdom. The event was organized by a cross-functional team of individuals drawn from Technology & Human Factors (THF), Communication and Information Systems (CIS), Cyber, and Future Solutions (FUSOL) branches at Headquarters Supreme Allied Commander Transformation (HQ SACT)

The Hackathon followed a proven business model to offer participating teams challenges in the area of modelling or coding. This year one more challenge was introduced that combined modelling and coding tasks in a joint scenario.

Modelling Challenge – Teams were required to develop architecture patterns for the rapid adoption of cyberspace as a fifth military domain. Six teams of Enterprise Architects, Operational Analysts and Software Engineers participated in this challenge. The solutions that they developed will be consolidated further and used to inform the new concept for Cyberspace Operations that is currently under development at ACT.

Coding Challenge – Teams were requested to apply modern analytics to identify hidden information patterns within NATO interoperability assessment databases. The goal was to come up with appealing visualizations of the data and explain how these could be used to transform the business. In the next step of this effort, ACT is considering the potential use of these solutions in the CWIX environment to enhance the analytics capability for managers and analysts.

Joint Challenge – Teams needed to develop models and/or prototypes of Internet of Things (IoT) applications that would increase the effectiveness of future Command and Control (C2). The exploration of the IoT space will help to reshape the concept of C2 that ACT is currently developing as a part of its C2 Focus Area activities. All the solutions from the IoT challenge will be continued to develop, ultimately becoming a part of a C2 Concept demonstrator to be presented at the CWIX 2017 event.

The second NATO Hackathon has proven once again that this competition model developed by ACT can produce real solutions to relevant contemporary challenges. The high level of participants’ professionalism, commitment and effort generated a respectable number of quality products - including thousands of lines of code and tens of architectural models, predominantly from the voluntary contributions of the participants.

That is already bringing its first fruits to the NATO Enterprise: the products have been demonstrated in the ACT C2 Innovation room at CWIX 2017. The Hackathon brings for the first time Internet of Things platforms to the CWIX community, opening a new frontier for innovation and experimentation. Similarly, the applications of big data analytics technologies were presented to showcase their applicability to the NATO environment.

The final report from the 2017 edition of the NATO Hackathon is available here.

hp enterprise logologo postQuantum 2ACT highly values the engagement and support offered by Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Post-Quantum during this edition of the NATO Hackathon. It has shown that industry participation allows for making the Hackathon events significantly better.

ACT will organize a planning conference for the next Hackathon from 18 to 20 October 2017 in Virginia Beach to select new challenges and to kick off the formal planning process.

Winning Teams

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In response to the dynamically changing geo-political environment that we face today, NATO conducts a process of continuous transformation guided by a high level political agenda. Bringing effective change to such a large organization is however, a complex endeavor. It involves many actors, and typically is accompanied by water-fall type, lengthy procurement processes. This significantly hampers innovation, especially in the area of Information and Communication Technology where rapid agile methods have been proven to be much more effective.

In order to manage the enterprise change the North Atlantic Council issued the "Alliance Consultation, Command and Control Strategy" with a call to "establish Enterprise Architecture discipline". This new discipline is further guided by Enterprise Architecture Policy, which explicitly sets Enterprise Architecture primary objective to "...translate NATO’s vision and strategy into effective change of the current business and IT environments".