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USSOCOM to Host Innovation Foundry Event in Oslo, Norway

SOFWERX, in collaboration with USSOCOM’s Directorate of Science and Technology (S&T) Futures, Norwegian Special Operations Command (NORSOCOM), and the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment (FFI), will host the twelfth Innovation Foundry (IF12) Event in Oslo, Norway, 30 January – 02 February 2023.

This is the first international IF, which seeks to bring together U.S. and International Special Operations Forces (SOF), Industry, Academia, Government, and futurists in an exploration, design thinking, facilitated event to assist USSOCOM in decomposing future scenarios and missions.

The Arctic environment presents significant challenges for military operations – harsh temperatures, a predominantly sea and ice environment, poor terrestrial data and communications infrastructure due to a lack of large population centers, and complex ongoing climate, environmental, political, economic, and cultural developments. The theme of IF12 is “Joint and Partner Communications in a Contested and Austere Environment”. The goal of the event is to explore the challenges of communications in a future challenged operating environment in the Arctic. Participants will develop concepts and approaches for the framework, technologies, infrastructure, and capabilities required to enable effective communications between SOF, joint forces, and partners, and to conduct operations in the future environment. Challenges include limited beyond-line-of-sight coverage, ionospheric and atmospheric disturbances to radio communications, Anti-Access/Area Denial (A2/AD) environments, sensor communication challenges, extreme temperatures, high latitudes, the impact of climate change, economic and environmental considerations, diverse stakeholders and interests, and potentially challenged territories.

How do we effectively communicate and operate in a future Arctic environment where civilian, military, and economic activity will be greatly increased, where environmental, communications, navigational, and cultural challenges are significant, and where policy and international relations issues will continue to be sensitive? How do we access, communicate, and operate in a challenged or A2/AD environment facing near-peer adversaries? In such an environment, what technologies, approaches, and solutions will allow SOF to effectively fulfill their mission? How might these technologies be deployed in a future challenged / constrained environment in the Arctic?

As General Terrence O’Shaughnessy, former Commander, USNORTHCOM, said in January 2019, “Our adversaries are rapidly acquiring the capability and capacity to hold our citizens, our way of life and our national interests at risk. Along with our partners and allies, we must adapt to the evolving strategic landscape and associated challenges to ensure we are ready to operate in and through the Arctic in all scenarios, across all domains, and against any adversary. Our homelands are not a sanctuary, and the Arctic is the front line in our defense.”

Participants at the Oslo, Norway, IF12 event will develop concepts for future SOF missions, addressing communications, networking, and navigation, as well as related questions including equipment operations, logistics, ad hoc approaches, and multinational operations in a rapidly changing Arctic environment.

The command is interested in Radio Frequency (RF) technologies, satellite communications technologies, wide area and mesh networking, autonomous systems, robotics, artificial intelligence, machine learning, material science, structures design, hydrophobic and signature reducing coatings, remote sensors, chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear defense, medical treatment and evacuation, device interoperability, technology standards, geophysical positioning and navigation, partnered operations, and SOF Operations.

Submit NLT 07 December 2022 11:59 PM ET to participate.

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