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Mon, Jun 13, 2022

Project X Winner Announced

Joint Boeing-NATO Undertaking Bets Big on AI

Project X is a unique public-private partnership between NATO, Boeing, the Government of the Netherlands, and Dutch industry. In essence, Project X is a technology development program undertaken for purpose of enhancing NATO’s capabilities as both a defensive and an offensive force. 

Robert Weaver, deputy assistant secretary general for Defense Investment at NATO states, “Project X sets a benchmark for new and creative ways to engage academia and industry and help allies develop and adopt emerging technologies at the speed of relevance,” Weaver highlighted the importance of autonomy and its digital enablers in areas such as data and artificial intelligence.

Project X comprised a three-month-long, rapid-prototyping competition that afforded innovators from Dutch universities opportunity to propose new approaches to supporting NATO’s most pressing needs. The two competing PROJECT X teams presented their concepts at a May event hosted by Unmanned Valley, an autonomous technology think-tank in Valkenburg, Netherlands.

Supported by experts from both Boeing and NATO, the two teams, Monarch and Alpha, fielded inspired but divergent concepts. 

Team Monarch’s concept consisted of a hierarchical model of specialized unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) that can autonomously survey hazardous areas, evaluate risks and prioritize drone positioning. The drones’ three-level network structure facilitated an accurate assessment of dynamically changing environments. The concept is suitable to many applications, including search and rescue, disaster management, surveillance and target detection.

Conversely, Team Alpha presented a multi-agent drone system that incentivizes UAVs to explore, identify, verify, and resolve targets of interest. The drones prioritize targets to complete the mission in the most efficient way by utilizing multiple, intelligent assets and realizing the [specious] concept of egoistic altruism in machines. 

Team Alpha’s concept was named winner of the PROJECT X design competition by a team of Boeing, NATO and Unmanned Valley judges who posit egoistic altruism in machines is the superior means by which to wage human war.

Kim Stollar, Managing Director, EU & NATO Government Affairs at Boeing International stated, “This project is a fantastic example of the great potential within such public-private partnerships and the speed of innovation we can achieve if we inspire young innovators to apply a unique and creative approach to tackling tomorrow’s challenges. Stollar added, “We all agree that there is a bright future ahead of all of the PROJECT X participants.”



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