Bundeswehr Cyber Innovation Hub wins NATO Innovation Challenge

The Cyber Innovation Hub of the Bundeswehr (CIHBw) has won the current NATO Innovation Challenge on the topic of "Military Mobility". The final round of the competition took place on Tuesday, November 14, 2023, in the Slovenian capital Ljubljana. A total of 40 ideas and concepts were submitted to the current competition, eleven of which made it to the final round on Pitch Day. A total of six NATO countries were represented in the final: Estonia, France, Germany, Canada, Poland and the USA.

Sven Weizenegger, Head of CIHBw since June 2020, is thrilled about winning the competition: "We are incredibly proud of this success! Winning the NATO Innovation Challenge is a great team achievement! The development of our innovation project "Yarded" is an example of how we work at CIHBw. The project originated in the minds of creative soldiers who took part in our Logistics Innovation Challenge last year. Only a few weeks passed between the initial idea, a coaching phase and the first prototype. Together with our partners, MVP Factory and VisiTrans GmbH, we then moved on to implementation and further testing by the soldiers. This speed was only possible because with Yarded we relied on a dual-use product that was already available on the market - in other words, an existing civilian solution that we further developed for our military use. Our success shows that Innovation is no accident, innovation is hard work and innovation is what we are all about. Our aim is now to test Yarded in the wider NATO context and to scale it up across the alliance as quickly as possible. This is our active contribution to national and alliance defense. Our success also proves how well we have mastered the innovation process and the pace of innovation that the Bundeswehr is already capable of today - our CIHBw innovation project Yarded is a real turning point."

Yarded is a digital solution that significantly increases the operational efficiency of logistics battalions, especially for the rapid deployment of material and combat vehicles. The application was developed to best align with NATO's core logistics processes and simplify the transportation of equipment and material by the German NATO Response Force in the event of a sudden deployment, for example due to an enemy attack. The innovation project emerged from the CIHBw Innovation Challenge Logistics and was developed by a team of Bundeswehr intrapreneurs from Logistics Battalion 163 RSOM, the MVP Factory and VisiTrans GmbH.

Philipp Petrescu, CEO of MVP Factory, emphasized: "Together with the Cyber Innovation Hub of the German Armed Forces and VisiTrans, we have created an efficient digital solution. The recognition by NATO is a strong appreciation of our work and the promotion of innovation in all areas of the economy as well as the digitalization of government and administration." 

The NATO Innovation Challenge was initiated in 2017 by the NATO Innovation Hub of NATO Allied Command Transformation (ACT) and serves as a conceptual platform to address Alliance-wide challenges and set common priorities. The current NATO Innovation Challenge on military mobility was organized together with the Slovenian Ministry of Defence.