On The 23rd of September the Defence Attaché of the Netherlands, Air Commodore Rudolf SCHOONDERWOERD visited the NATO Security Force Assistance Centre of Excellence (NATO SFA COE).

The purpose of the visit was to present the Centre to the Air Commodore, particularly: the main study projects, the training offer and the current and future activities that the NATO SFA COE is developing, whilst at the same time increasing the use of virtual tools to mitigate the limitations imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Director illustrated the process of setting up the Centre of Excellence, the evolution of the SFA concept within NATO and how the Centre can support the Alliance, through the projects and activities of its Subject Matter Experts, in the stabilization of countries befallen in crises that fall within its area of ​​interest.

The Military Attaché had the opportunity to participate in the webinar entitled “Innovation performance in NATO, COEs and MODs”, organized by the Innovation Hub of the NATO Command Transformation (ACT) and the Dutch Ministry of Defence.

The Innovation Hub within ACT is both a virtual and physical platform, which brings together and coordinates a community of experts with specific knowledge and specialized profiles in order to promote collaboration and the design of innovative solutions, useful to face the Alliance’s numerous and complex challenges.

The research of ACT’s Innovation Hub, with which the Centre collaborated through its Concept Doctrine & Development department, experiments the military application of the theories on “transactional memory”, namely the dynamics of knowledge transfer within complex organizations through group memory and the ability to learn from one’s own or others’ mistakes. Understanding these dynamics, in the context of projects related to innovation, would therefore favour the military’s levels of training on an individual and collective level for the benefit of productivity and organizational efficiency.

At the end of the event, the Military Attaché, expressed his satisfaction with the high profile of the topics covered and noted how the Centre promotes the development of innovative processes in the conduct of SFA activities and in the advanced training of the Alliance’s personnel, also highlighting the important role that the COE plays in the development of military and civilian capabilities to support stabilization in crisis areas.