170309sv01 400General Denis Mercier has conducted a visit to ‘Silicon Valley’, the heart of United States innovation. During the visit, he met with former Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice at Stanford University as well as staff at University of California, Berkeley and the Defence Innovation Unit Experimental (DIUx), before engaging with students from Stanford and Berkeley.

This visit proved a unique opportunity for General Mercier to engage with some of the most innovative people in our nations and who will become responsible for keeping our strategic edge in the future.

170309sv02 400During the visit to University of California, Berkeley, General Mercier toured the University’s laboratories and was able to witness several experimental innovation ideas. He also had the unique opportunity to tour the Google campus and meet with various subject matter experts to discuss some of the innovative ideas and programs the company is working on.

The visit to Silicon Valley and, in particular the Universities, is helpful to NATO’s transformation as General Mercier remarked, “we need external expertise, or we will miss something.”

General Mercier also encouraged the need to continue to find innovation and the importance of working together to find innovated solutions to challenges today and in the future.

"You have a part of the solution," he told staff and students at Berkeley.

NATO’s home in North America, Allied Command Transformation, brings together military personnel, Allied and Partner nations to contribute to international security and international stability. The Command is estimated to contribute $100 million to the local economy every year.