Emerging and disruptive technologies

  • Last updated 16-Jun-2021 08:22

Technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), autonomous weapons systems, big data, biotechnologies and quantum technologies are changing the world, and the way NATO operates. These and other emerging and disruptive technologies (EDT) present both risks and opportunities for NATO and Allies. That’s why the Alliance is working with public and private sector partners, academia, and civil society to develop and adopt new technologies, strengthen the Allied industrial base, and maintain NATO’s technological edge.

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  • For over 70 years, NATO has stayed at the forefront of technology to ensure the defence of its Allies and the success of its operations. 
  • At their London meeting in December 2019, NATO Leaders agreed an Emerging and Disruptive Technology Implementation Roadmap.
  • In September 2020, the NATO Advisory Group on Emerging and Disruptive Technologies presented recommendations on innovative technologies that NATO should be pursuing as a priority.
  • In February 2021, NATO Defence Ministers endorsed a strategy on Emerging and Disruptive Technologies to guide NATO's development of EDT policy in specific subject areas.
  • As part of the NATO 2030 initiative on adapting the Alliance to face future challenges, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has also proposed a NATO defence innovation initiative to promote better transatlantic cooperation on critical technologies.
  • In March 2021, the NATO Advisory Group on Emerging and Disruptive Technologies issued its first annual report, identifying concrete areas for the Alliance to consider as NATO adopts these new technologies
  • NATO is also engaging with other international organisations, including the European Union (EU) and the United Nations (UN), to address emerging and disruptive technologies.