The NATO Science and Technology Organization (STO)

  • Last updated: 18 Jul. 2012 15:02

The NATO Science and Technology Organization (STO) acts as NATO’s principal organization for science and technology research.

It is composed of a Science and Technology Board (STB), Scientific and Technical Committees and three Executive Bodies; the Office of the Chief Scientist (OCS), the Collaboration Support Office (CSO), and the Centre for Maritime Research and Experimentation (CMRE).
  • Main tasks and responsibilities

    The mission of the STO is to help position both national and NATO science and technology investments as a strategic enabler of the knowledge and technology advantage for the defence and security posture of NATO Allies and partners.

    The Organisation aims to leverage and augment the science and technology capabilities and programmes to contribute to NATO’s ability to influence security and defence related development. It also supports decisions made at both national and NATO level by providing advice to the North Atlantic Council and national leadership.

  • The Organization’s structure

    The Chief Scientist is the chairman of the STB and the senior science advisor to the North Atlantic Council.  The Office of the Chief Scientist (OCS) is located in Brussels, Belgium at NATO HQ.

    The scientific and technical committees, composed of members from national and NATO bodies, will continue to direct and execute NATO’s collaborative science and technology activities.

    Executive and administrative support to NATO’s collaborative science and technology activities will be delivered by the Collaboration Support Office (CSO), formerly known as the Research and Technology Agency (RTA), located in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France.

    The Centre for Maritime Research and Experimentation (CMRE), formerly known as the NATO Undersea Research Centre (NURC), located in La Spezia, Italy, will organise and conduct scientific research and technology development, centred on the maritime domain, delivering innovative solutions to address the Alliance’s defence and security needs.

    CMRE conducts hands-on scientific and engineering research for the direct benefit of NATO and its’ customers. The Centre operates NATO’s two research vessels that enable science and technology solutions to be explored and developed at sea. This allows unique and specialized research to be conducted in core areas of interest for NATO. CMRE’s engineering capability enables rapid exploitation of concept prototypes for use in trials and military experiments. The Centre has also a scientific and engineering knowledge base which is published for use across NATO.

  • Evolution

    The STO was created through the amalgamation of the Research and Technology Organization (RTO) and the NATO Undersea Research Centre (NURC).  These bodies were brought together following a decision at the Lisbon Summit to reform the NATO agency structure. The standing-up of the STO is part of a three phase implementation process of these reforms.

    The first phase is the consolidation phase and runs from 1 July 2012 to 1 January 2013.  It comprises the stand-up of the STO, the delivery of the NATO Science and Technology Strategy, the production of the CMRE Business Plan and the delivery of the study pertaining to the Operational Research and Analysis (ORA) function.

    The second phase is the rationalization phase.  This phase begins on 1 January 2013 and lasts until 1 July 2014.  The phase comprises transition of the CMRE to its new business model, the implementation of the NATO Science and Technology Strategy, the implementation of the decisions pertaining to the ORA function and a further consolidation study.

    The third and last phase is the optimization phase.  It is planned between 1 July 2014 and 1 July 2015.  It comprises the optimization of the measures of the rationalization phase and the implementation of the decisions pertaining to a further consolidation study.