NATO Innovation Challenge -  The invisible threat: Countering cognitive warfare


Competition between innovators is the fuel we use to foster the best innovative solutions.

The Challenge

The Innovation for Defence Excellence and Security (IDEaS) program and Canadian Special Operations Forces Command (CANSOFCOM), on behalf of Canada, will be hosting the Fall 2021 NATO Innovation Challenge. The theme of this pitch-style event is Understanding and Protecting the Cognitive Domain.

NATO is looking for tools and measures to identify, assess and protect against attacks on NATO forces and NATO Allies in the cognitive domain.

What NATO Provides

A pitch-style event will be hosted by Canada on behalf of NATO where innovators can present their solutions to NATO member countries and other interested stakeholders. Cash prizes, as well as international exposure, will be available for the best solutions. There will also be a special recognition for the top “Made in Canada” solution. 

What Innovators Bring

Solutions will ideally provide a monitoring and alert system for cognitive attacks, as well as real-time data-sharing with NATO forces. Solutions could leverage immersive and Command and Control infrastructure technologies, amongst others. 

Apply Now


All information about this challenge can be found on the NATO Innovation Challenge page.

As the NATO Innvation Challenge site is in english only, we have provided a french equivalent of the challenge content and scenario.


All applicants from NATO member countries can apply to the NATO Innovation Challenge.

Candidates screened-in for the top “Made in Canada” prize must meet the following eligibility criteria under the IDEaS program:

  • Canadian universities and educational institutions chartered in Canada;
  • Incorporated Canadian not-for-profit organizations or associations;
  • Provincial/territorial or municipal government organizations;
  • Incorporated Canadian for-profit companies, organizations or associations; and
  • Any group, cluster or consortium composed of eligible recipients, and their researchers and professionals, including their international S&T collaborators. All eligible recipients must possess the legal status necessary to enter into an agreement.
  • Federal and provincial crown corporations are not eligible for funding under the Contribution Program.

How to Apply

The Full Application can be found on the NATO Innovation Challenge page.


The deadline to apply is Thursday, October 21, 2021.

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