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News: Independent Science Review Committee meets at NATO Headquarters, 10 October 2022

News: Independent Science Review Committee meets at NATO Headquarters, 10 October 2022

For more than 60 years, NATO’s Science for Peace and Security (SPS) Program has played a vital role in encouraging and promoting international cooperation in civil sciences and technology. The Independent Scientific Evaluation Group (ISEG) is one of the main hubs. On October 10 and 11, 2022, ISEG members met face-to-face for the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. During these two days, they reviewed and evaluated over 75 project files submitted after a call for proposals on topics related to NATO’s Agenda for 2030. The proposals identified by ISEG will now be submitted to the Allies, who will ensure that they are in line with NATO’s priorities and with the objectives of the partnership it has set.

ISEG is currently made up of 28 scientists from across the alliance, specializing in a variety of fields. Although appointed by the authorities of their country, they are not their representatives: they work completely independently, in the service of science. ISEG members have a responsibility to peer review received proposals for scientific validity and select promising projects, which will then be submitted for Allied approval. As independent evaluators, they also play an important role in the implementation phase of the project, for example by conducting field visits.

Ulrich Neubert (Germany)

The diverse profiles of its members are a true asset of ISEG. Ulrik Neupert, for example, is the project manager at the Fraunhofer Institute for the Analysis of Technological Trends, where he contributes to the production of future analyzes of defense technologies for the German armed forces. He has extensive experience in the scientific field, and is currently serving his third term at ISEG, of which he became a member in 2016.

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Meanwhile, Miguel Bastos Araujo is Professor of Biogeography and a specialist in global change. A recent member of the ISEG, he is interested in the links between climate change and geopolitics.

In addition to their differences, all ISEG members have one thing in common: their strong technical and scientific expertise.

Miguel Bastos Araujo (Portugal)

Due to the variety of topics covered in the SPS programme, ISEG members are required to have in-depth knowledge in a variety of fields. Indeed, during those two busy days, they had to study proposals on issues as diverse as applications of artificial intelligence in cyber defense, innovative energy storage solutions, or the design of unmanned aerial systems capable of detecting mines.

“Because of the large number of topics covered by the proposals, its evaluation is sometimes tedious,” notes Mr. Neubert, “but a review of the latest research helps me greatly in my insightful work in the fields of science and technology.”

Lucia Fegoli (Slovakia)

An opinion shared by Lucia Fegoli, Associate Professor at the Faculty of Security Technologies at the University of ilina (Slovakia), who notes that her participation in the ISEG work brings her a lot.

“All these years of service to ISEG have given me a better understanding of what the Alliance does and the interests it defends, and I am proud to contribute to its work.”

Thanks to the evaluation work carried out by ISEG, a whole series of new research and other activities should soon be carried out under the SPS programme. Successful projects, which allies must now agree to fund, will help NATO stay on the cutting edge of science and technology.

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Through the SPS Program, the Alliance funds collaborative scientific work whose results can help address the growing security challenges it faces. ISEG’s expertise in many areas is a valuable asset in this context,” emphasizes Denise Peyton, Senior Advisor for the SPS Program and Collaboration with Partners.