NATO’s Science and Technology Organization (STO) marked its 10th anniversary on 19 September, bringing together representatives from Allied and Partner Nations, NATO civilian and military leadership, and members of the STO community for a special event at NATO Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium.
NATO formed the STO in 2012, as part of an organisational reform that combined the Research Technology Organization and the NATO Undersea Research Centre – renamed the CMRE – and created a new branch, the Office of the Chief Scientist, to facilitate efficient and direct scientific communication with NATO leadership in Brussels.
Today, the STO brings together more than 5,000 researchers from over 40 NATO and Partner Nations to form the world’s largest defence-related collaborative scientific network. Through the STO Collaborative Programme of Work, this network delivers more than three hundred research activities each year across a broad range of fields. More recently, STO’s research has been at the forefront of NATO’s work on emerging and disruptive technologies (EDTs) and has helped inform NATO’s new chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) defence policy.
In his laudation at the anniversary event, NATO Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoană highlighted the significant role the STO will play in addressing future challenges for the Alliance and in implementing NATO's Strategic Concept 2022. He described STO scientists as "the brightest of the brightest in the NATO ecosystem".
Speakers at the ceremony included retired Major General Albert Husniaux, who was NATO's first chief scientist and played a key role in the creation of the STO ten years ago, and NATO's chief scientist, Dr Bryan Wells. In his speech, Dr Wells highlighted the key role that STO members and STO staff have played in supporting the Alliance.
"Over the past decade, the STO has provided scientific excellence to the nations and NATO," Dr Wells said. It has shown foresight in anticipating new requirements, such as climate change science, he added.
The anniversary event included a poster exhibition supported by the three STO executive bodies: the Office of the Chief Scientist (OCS), the Centre for Maritime Research and Experimentation (CMRE) and the Collaboration Support Office (CSO) through the STO panels and group.