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NATO Innovation Challenge

Opportunity for USA, Canada, and International Individuals and
Teams in Eligible Countries to Improve Space Domain Awareness

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Innovation Hub and Portuguese Ministry of National Defense

LOI Date:


Deadline Date:



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Opportunity for USA, Canada, and International individuals and industry and academia teams in eligible countries to participate in a contest to present innovative solutions that increase space domain awareness. Applicants must pre-register and submit an abstract prior to applying. Solutions can include any combination of methodologies, concepts, techniques, and technologies.

The purpose of the NATO Innovation Challenge is to tap into the minds of innovative people and teams to find more effective and efficient ways for NATO, and other response organizations, to ensure security and respond to crisis situations.

The Space environment is fundamentally changing as it becomes more contested, congested and competitive, with hundreds, soon thousands, of satellites being launched every year, mostly from the commercial sector. As daily reliance on satellites increases, concerns about their potential degradation, disruption or even destruction, have grown.

This Innovation Challenge is seeking innovative solutions to:

  • Collect and analyze all relevant open sources information contributing to the space domain awareness
  • Assess and prevent any disruption or denial of space-based capabilities and services
  • Visualize and present the space domain information in an innovative, different way that would facilitate quick and efficient decision-making

NATO Context:

The concept of Space Domain Awareness (SDA) aims to ensure a common understanding of the Space environment, including threats and vulnerabilities that have the potential to affect the Alliance’s safety, security and interests

For more information about the NATO Context, see:

Relevant solutions could support the development of future NATO concepts, doctrine, standards, requirements, capability development, and will get stage-time at NATO-wide events.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 189254

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Number of Grants:

Up to 10

Estimated Size of Grant:

HQ SACT presents three levels of monetary awards for the top three winners of the IC-21/Spring: a. first place: $5,000 USD, b. second place: $2,500 USD, c. third place: $1,000 USD.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

A Selection Committee composed of representatives from NATO HQ SACT, advisors from the IC-21/Spring Partners and other relevant experts invited by NATO HQ SACT will select up to 10 solutions amongst the responses submitted by industry, academia, or by individuals.

NATO is looking for entrepreneurs, designers, thinkers, engineers, scientists, coders, innovators, etc.

Participants must acknowledge that participation is only open to nationals of NATO’s 30 Member States, and the NATO HQ SACT Jury Prize can only be awarded to a national of a NATO Member States (see Additional Geographic Information for a link to the NATO member countries).

Eligibility for industry or academia teams: Only submissions by industry and academia headquartered or located in NATO member countries will be considered for IC-21/Spring.

Pre-Application Information:


- Until 22 May: Registration
- 23 May: Abstract Submission Deadline
- 2 June: Selected Abstracts Announced
- 20 June: Solution Proposal Submission Deadline
- 29 June: Online Pitch Day and Award Ceremony

The selected solutions will be invited to participate in the IC-21/Spring Pitch Day on June 29, 2021. Participation in the Pitch Day is exclusively online.

The final selection of the IC-21/Spring winner will be performed by a Board composed entirely by representatives of HQ SACT.


Official rules for individuals:

For official rules for industry or academia applicants, see Supporting Documents below.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Create an account at and check the box “Join the Innovation Challenge.”

Or, if you already have an account, join the Innovation Challenge Group:

Email for questions:

Questions can be posted on the Innovation Challenge web forum at

NATO HQ SACT Innovation Hub
4111 Monarch Way
Norfolk, VA 23508

Grant Coverage Areas:

Funding or Pin Number:


URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

Canada: Alberta;   British Columbia;   Manitoba;   New Brunswick;   Newfoundland and Labrador;   Northwest Territories;   Nova Scotia;   Nunavut;   Ontario;   Prince Edward Island;   Quebec;   Saskatchewan;   Yukon;

International country outside of the USA, Israel and Canada.

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