The Bundeswehr Cyber Innovation Hub is the digital speedboat for our armed forces.

Our vision: "Empowering Innovation in Defense". The Cyber Innovation Hub of the Bundeswehr (CIHBw) supports the digital transformation of the Bundeswehr and builds a bridge between the Bundeswehr and the startup ecosystem.

First successful innovation unit in Germany

From the troops - with the troops - for the troops

Whether an app for the Bundeswehr's rapid logistics management, AI solutions for a virtual situation picture or augmented reality for training and education purposes for soldiers: The CIHBw covers a wide range of digital innovations. We test specific projects directly with the Bundeswehr on site. We cooperate directly with all branches of the armed forces and organizational areas. We base our projects on the challenges and problems faced by the troops and select our projects independently. The soldiers are at the center of our work. The Bundeswehr Cyber Innovation Hub is the "do tank" for our armed forces.

The USA as a role model

We are the Bundeswehr's digital innovation unit. Our self-image is based on the model of comparable innovation units in the private sector and other armed forces. For example, there are similar digital innovation units in the USA and Israel. The Bundeswehr Cyber Innovation Hub is unique. We are the first military digital innovation unit in Europe and the model for comparable units in other German federal ministries and authorities.

The Bundeswehr Cyber Innovation Hub was founded in 2017. Following the successful completion of the pilot phase in 2020, we were continued as an innovation unit of the Bundeswehr within BWI GmbH. We focus on the needs of soldiers and civilian employees in the business area of the Federal Ministry of Defense (BMVg).

Flexible process thanks to the innovation funnel

How do ideas become successful innovation projects at the Bundeswehr Cyber Innovation Hub? Our innovation projects go through the so-called "innovation funnel". This means that it is not left to chance whether a mere idea turns into a real solution. The innovation funnel does not work like a linear assembly line, but is an iterative process that allows us to react flexibly to changes and feedback. Instead of a rigid process, it is important to us that we quickly test existing solutions that are useful for the Bundeswehr. The users of the solution - i.e. soldiers or other members of the Bundeswehr - are involved in innovation development from the very beginning. This is how user-centricity works for us.

In the first phase ("Ideate & Validate"), we collect ideas and carefully examine whether they can solve everyday and special problems in the Bundeswehr or make a completely new contribution to the further development of the armed forces. This also means that every innovation needs a user in the troops. Together with the Bundeswehr, we fall in love with the problem, find solutions and develop the idea to maturity. The problem must be understood and explored in all its facets so that suitable solution ideas can be developed. Only if these ideas generate a benefit for the Bundeswehr and the users perceive them as useful (validate) do they have a chance of being pursued further. If this is the case, the selected idea becomes an innovation project and the planning ("setup") is set in motion: The time, personnel and purchasing requirements are determined. As soon as the concept and planning have been finalized, the decision is made as to whether the project should actually be implemented and resources mobilized for it ("Solution Review"). In the "Supply" phase, external products or services are then procured with which the prototype can be realized.

"There should be more of these pragmatic, quick solutions."
- Dr. Eva Högl, Parliamentary Commissioner for the Armed Forces,
in her annual report in 2020.


We then test directly with the users whether a prototype created by us or supplied externally passes the practical test. We call this "build & experiment". The added value must be just as important as the usability. Our goal is always user-friendliness. In a final report, we collect all the experiences and can then recommend a broader introduction of the solution for the Bundeswehr - or not. Agile and open-ended! If the recommendation is positive, we have developed a system for the continued operation of the prototypes together with our mother ship, BWI GmbH, to enable soldiers to continue using them until they are introduced through the CPM process. So that innovation becomes sustainable.

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