International Concept Development & Experimentation Conference

icde2020logo300x250.pngThe International Concept Development and Experimentation Conference is NATO's annual forum for the international Concept Development and Experimentation community and stakeholders to discuss the current issues of concept development and experimentation in the capability development process.

The Conference is hosted by Headquarters Supreme Allied Commander Transformation, and normally co-hosted by the Ministry of Defence of a host nation.

2020 International Concept Development and Experimentation Conference:

Originally planned as a 20th Anniversary event in Paris, due to the exceptional circumstances caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 Conference was changed to a virtual event.

The conference took place from 26-29 October 2020. In the spirit of CD&E, the event was a bold experiment in exploiting the virtual format to the fullest.

Twelve inspiring and highly relevant speakers shared their visions through pre-recorded talks and took part in engaging live "Questions&Answers" and panel discussions. Additionally, nine different educational workshops were organized simultaneously and in two iterations to enable the delegates to enhance their individual practitioner “toolboxes”. Other highlights will include networking opportunities and the CD&E Exchange Expo.

Post event content is available on and CDE365.

You can read the 2020 ICDE Conference Synopsis below.

International Concept Development
and Experimentation Conference


International Concept Development
and Experimentation Conference

Fact Sheet

Concept Development
and Experimentation Exchange

Fact Sheet

2020_icde_report.png 2020 ICDE Fact Sheet.jpg 2020 CDE Exchange Fact Sheet.jpg


2020 Conference planning team:

Lead planner:

Commander Paul Groestad (Norwegian Navy).

Standing Conference Objectives:

  • Champion Adaptation and Innovation through Concept Development & Experimentation work across the Alliance and Partner Nations;
  • Advocate and enable a federated approach to concept development and innovation across the Alliance and with Partner Nations;
  • Engage with our partners; build relationships and trust, draw inspiration from our colleagues and promote a networked Concept Development & Experimentation environment that stimulates collaboration, information-sharing and mutual support;
  • Identify and exploit common areas of interest, building communities that can innovate with purpose and coherence;
  • Educate partners on Concept Development & Experimentation interests and processes; communicate Concept Development & Experimentation best practices and lessons learned for collective benefit;
  • Through Workshops and Seminars, progress individual work strands and concepts.


The conference is focused at the Major General level and below, or the civilian equivalent. Attendance from the following fields, as applicable, are desired: Concept Development & Experimentation, Operational Analysis, Research and Development, Science and Technology, Doctrine Development, Military Transformation, Battle Laboratories, Centres of Excellence, Academia, the Defence Industry and Subject Matter Experts based on specific workshops/seminars. Attendees can be from a NATO nation/body, Partnership for Peace, Mediterranean Dialogue or Istanbul Cooperation Initiative nations, or from nations collaborating with the US Department of Defence.

Security Classification and Language:

The program content is not classified and is normally releasable to the public. It is presented and published in English; there are no translation services available during the conference.

Concept Development and Experimentation Handbook:

You can download the handbook in pdf format by clicking the following link: CD&E Handbook - A Concept Developer’s Guide to Transformation.

To be informed on the revisions of the handbook and on CD&E in NATO you can request to be added to our mailing list by sending an e-mail to

Previous Conferences:

2019 International CD&E Conference:

The 2019 International Concept Development and Experimentation Conference took place in Madrid, Spain, 29-31 October 2019. The photos and conference reports can be found below.

2019 Conference Report.

2018 Conference Executive Summary.

2017 Conference Report.

2019 International CD&E Conference Photo Gallery: