The NATO Science and Technology Organisation (STO) Technical Panels and Group held their 50th Fall Business meetings this autumn, bringing together scientists, engineers, and analysts, as well as representatives from national and NATO bodies, to help shape the future of science and technology in the Allliance. The six Panels and one group celebrated this milestone in a series of meetings held at various locations across the Alliance from 26 September to 21 October. 

Known as the "powerhouse" of scientific and technological cooperation in NATO, these STO bodies are responsible for proposing and managing the programmes of work in their respective scientific areas, providing both critical technical oversight and important liaison with military users and other NATO entities. 

The successful management of the Panels and the Group is critical to the successful delivery of the Joint Programme of Work, which aims to provide all nations with the scientific and technological means necessary to develop interoperable, state-of-the-art capabilities that ensure success on the battlefield. NATO established the technical bodies in 1997 with the creation of the NATO Research and Technology Organisation (RTO), the STO's predecessor. The bi-annual BMs provide an opportunity for each Panel and Group to reflect on and evaluate recent work, and to decide on proposed future activities, the Technical Teams of national experts should conduct. 

STO Panels/Group

  • Applied Vehicle Technology (AVT)
  • Human Factors and Medicine (HFM)
  • Information Systems Technology (IST)
  • Sensors and Electronics Technology (SET)
  • Systems Concepts and Integration SCI)
  • System Analysis & Studies (SAS)
  • NATO Modelling and Simulation Group (NMSG)

NATO Modelling and Simulation Group (NMSG), 17-21 October, Bath, UK

The NATO Modelling and Simulation Group (NMSG) joined the RTO in 1999. The NMSG works to improve operational efficiency and cost effectiveness across NATO by fostering collaboration between nations and partners to optimise the effective use of modelling and simulation technologies. 

This year, the Group held its 50th BM in Bath, United Kingdom, bringing together 81 participants from 22 Nations, eight NATO bodies and one external organisation. The hybrid event opened with an address from Professor Dame Angela McLean, Chief Scientific Advisor at the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD), followed by a keynote address from Major General Robin Anderton-Brown, Director of Capability at UK MOD Strategic Command. 

Also, part of the event were meetings of the NMSG subgroups and the plenary session, where attendees discussed ongonig activities, the future work programme and the latest technical developments in modelling and simulation tools.

The NMSG endorsed eight new technical activities. They will include, amongst other, investigating low-cost commercial simulations, digital game engines, including AI engines and tools. Another working group will be exploring sharing and reuse of simulation resources. A project that is somewhat out of the ordinary will look at M&S to support resilience building and the creation of refugee flow management. It will involve the development of AI-assisted data acquisition and processing, and a management logic for crowd movement control.

The NMSG also recognised special achievements during the event. Tom Van den Berg (NLD) and members of the MSG-188 special team received the NMSG 2022 Excellence Awards for their work on "Modelling and Simulating the Impact of Cyber Attacks". As in the years before, the BM was held in conjunction with the NMSG's annual Symposium on "Emerging and Disruptive Modelling and Simulation Technologies to Transform Future Defence Capabilities", attended by more than 100 participants and speakers.