Gearing up for the generation after next


With the birth of digital twin technology and generation after next solutions featuring in a packed programme, the 2022 NATO Modelling and Simulation Group (NMSG) symposium successfully “delivered” its expectant delegates an informed glance into the future.

Held in Bath on 20-21 October, the event was warmly received by an international audience representing Alliance bodies, NATO member states and partner nations, and proved a labour of love for the hosting UK contingent, which was led by Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) staff.

There was also no shortage of QinetiQ Training & Simulation DNA on display throughout the two-day exploration of the potential impact on Defence capabilities of a range of emerging and disruptive technologies.       

Two members of the QinetiQ team took to the microphone to present expert insights on behalf of the NSMG – part of the NATO Science & Technology Organization – and to enhance the community’s understanding of how modelling and simulation may evolve to effectively meet the operational challenges of tomorrow’s known, and unknown, threats. 

James Kearse helped attendees to contemplate what the generation after next of Defence simulations and synthetic environments might look like and Dr George Skrobanski argued the case for the application of advanced artificial intelligence in cyber modelling.

A third session, based on a paper co-authored by QinetiQ Training & Simulation’s Samantha Black and Dstl, shared some of the findings from the MIITTE [Maximising the Impact of Immersive Technologies for Training and Education] research programme. 

In addition, Andy Fawkes – an associate at Vedette Consulting – delivered a detailed brief on the concept of a military metaverse, drawing heavily from the study he completed for Serapis SSE earlier this year.

One of six lots of Dstl’s Serapis framework agreement, SSE is led by QinetiQ Training & Simulation and supports the UK Government’s research of next-generation Simulation and Synthetic Environments and associated tools and systems.

James Kearse, who also served as a technical evaluation reporter at the symposium, capturing discussions and conclusions for those NATO allies unable to attend in person, said it was a source of professional pride to have played a part in proceedings.

“The event is an incredibly important one in the NATO calendar and it was an honour for the UK to be front and centre and to contribute personally,” he added. “The NMSG exists to promote best practice and harness capabilities for the long-term benefit of NATO and this year’s symposium provided plenty of evidence of such activities.

“Cloud computing, metaverses and the adoption of novel approaches to standards and architectures were prevalent themes and there was also a recognition of a collective need for Defence to improve its diversity of thought; not just through harnessing the knowledge of people from different backgrounds but by engaging with a broader range of businesses and suppliers to ensure that new and innovative ways of doing things are fully considered.”