ITEC-2019

ITEC 2019 will take place in Stockholm, Sweden from 14 to 16 May 2019. Since 1999 Sweden has been leading the VIKING series of exercises alongside participants from the UN, EU, civilian authorities, police, military and representatives from humanitarian organisations.

VIKING is a practical extension of efforts to improve mission readiness in a time- and resource-effective manner. It also builds on work already undertaken by NATO to better connect joint forces across nations, working to overcome cultural barriers and thus highlight collaboration operations.

The core purpose of the event is to provide the perfect platform for international companies involved in military training and education to meet end users, industry influencers, government decision makers, and leading military minds.

“Interoperable by design: connecting people, technology, and nations”

People are at the heart of what ITEC is about. Our key objective is to empower those who serve their nations in joint, combined, and distributed contexts. The 2019 conference focuses on ways in which members from research, industry, and operations work together to enhance international collaboration by stepping outside our siloed comfort zones to connect people, technology and nations. It facilitates discussion for those engaged in the most testing environments – in the military and civil sectors – to explore the significant technological developments that impact training and education of current and future generations.

Sessions at ITEC 2019 will look at the use of novel educational models to better prepare people for joint training, equitable and diverse methods of training delivery, and culturally-aware evaluation for defence forces. Ensuring that joint training and intercultural education are accessible to the training audience, honouring cultural identities, and preventing stereotypes or assumptions from becoming barriers to interoperability, are key challenges addressed by ITEC 2019.

Top speakers from last year’s conference included:

  1. Group Captain Thomas Bennington, Project Officer Ideation and Transition, European Defence Agency
  2. Elizabeth Bledsoe, Cyber Programs Division Chief, Assistant Secretary of the Army Acquisition, Logistics and Technology, (ASA/ASALT)
  3. Brigadier General William E. Cole, Program Executive Officer for Simulation, Training and Instrumentation, United States Army
  4. Lieutenant Colonel Malcolm Conway, Commanding Officer Army Knowledge Group, Australian Army
  5. Mustafa Dinc, Senior Modelling & Simulation Expert, Middle East Technical University
  6. Lieutenant Lukasz Kacprowicz, Master, Szczytno Police Academy
  7. Gregory Kratzig, Director Research and Strategic Partnerships, Royal Canadian Mounted Police
  8. Thomas Lasch, Chief, M&S Division, Joint Multinational Simulation Center, US Army Europe
  9. Martin Thomsen, Head, Danish Disaster Management College
  10. Major Dennis Zijp, Head of Research and Development Office, Royal Netherlands Army

The ITEC 2019 Conference will emphasise the importance of more effective use of available technology whilst also anticipating future disruptive technologies that will impact the role of human factors in technology-mediated environments. It covers three primary areas:

HUMAN FACTORS AND PERFORMANCE IN A CONNECTED AGE

This track considers the core human, social, cultural and behavioural challenges involved in smooth cooperation. Intercultural understanding and communications – not just within military operations, but also between first responder and law enforcement communities – are vital to ensuring a successful outcome. How should joint exercises best be planned to develop a top level of interoperability? There are questions around human-machine collaboration and teaming to be factored in, as well as effective evaluation of human decision-making and performance. New ways of designing interoperability into a socio-technical system that motivates intercultural collaboration is a key area of interest.

TECHNOLOGIES AND ARCHITECTURES

This track explores technical developments advancing the use of collaborative, cooperative or innovative processes around training. It will assess the pros and cons of blended live, virtual and constructive simulations, looking at the application of cyber-physical security training systems. The increase of computer generated players that are culturally aware adds an additional element of complexity, as do simulation models derived from OSI and Big Data inputs. Can this increased interoperability of human and technological factors lead to predictive simulations that accurately measure command competence?

TODAY’S CHALLENGES, TOMORROW’S NEEDS, EMERGING SOLUTIONS

This track assesses the future landscape of the aerospace and defence industry, and how that will impact training needs going forwards. This includes advances in large-scale, distributed collaborative training, and the use of simulation in developing new SOPs. The application of new technology such as AR and VR to high-risk or high-security training environments – and the use of serious games and transmedia platforms – brings a new set of design questions. How can immersion and realism in simulation training best be enhanced, for example? What media work best for individual patient level training, versus mass casualty management in civil, military and joint contexts?

The key challenge of how legacy, new and emerging technologies can be made interoperable, not only between militaries but between all agencies that work in high demand situations, is central to these discussions. Nations may have unique imperatives, as well as those they share with others when considering both national defence and civil protection. These imperatives are driven by external and internal factors such as population, geography, climate, resources, and the choices made by each society in response to both their national and international environment. The current international situation is causing many nations to re-evaluate their choices, and to re-examine the models they have adopted for their military and civil forces. Sweden’s Defence Policy 2016-2020 makes clear the choices ITEC 2019’s host nation has considered and is taking forward.

The need for training outside battlefields is ever-increasing. We must teach control over high pressure situations in a removed and safe environment, with the most appropriate technology and methods available. The many challenges and requirements involved drive the community to seek innovative and pre-emptive solutions. Over the last years, ITEC has been dedicated to providing the platform for such essential discussions, and looks forward to doing so for many years to come.