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Speakers

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General (ret) Jörg Vollmer
KEYNOTE SPEAKER

Fraunhofer FKIE, former Chief of the German Army and former Commander of Allied Joint Force Command Brunssum  

In his last position, General Jörg Vollmer has been Commander of Allied Joint Force Command Brunssum from 2020 to 2022, one of three operational-level commands in the NATO Command Structure, directly reporting to the Supreme Allied Commander Europe. JFC Brunssum is responsible to ensure the security of the North-Eastern flank of NATO. He laid the foundation for the Regional Plan to deter and defend Vigilance-Area Centre.

After joining the German Armed Forces in 1978 and completing his basic officer training, General Vollmer graduated in Economics and Organizational Sciences at the University of the German Armed Forces, in Hamburg. In 1983 he attended Staff College at Hamburg. Later, following attendance at the School of Advanced Military Studies in Leavenworth (USA), from 2001 to 2002, he became a Fellow in Advanced Operational Art.  

General Vollmer served as Chief of the German Army from 2015 to 2020. He assumed command of the German Army at a time of paradigm shift with a refocus on collective defence and laid the foundation for a modern army – these significant adjustments included the digitization of land forces. 

General Vollmer served as Chief of the German Army from 2015 to 2020. He assumed command of the German Army at a time of paradigm shift with a refocus on collective defence and laid the foundation for a modern army – these significant adjustments included the digitization of land forces. 

General Vollmer has been privileged to hold a broad range of command positions. These include Commander Mechanized Infantry Brigade 37 (2006-2010), Commander Specialized Operations Division (2011-2014), and Commander Field Army / Vice Chief of the German Army (2014-2015). His command portfolio is further enhanced by two deployments as Commander ISAF Regional Command North, in Afghanistan, in 2009 and 2013.  

After 44 years of service General Jörg Vollmer retired in July 2022.  

He is now Chief Advisor Military Affairs for the Fraunhofer Institute for Communication, Information Processing and Ergonomics (FKIE).  

Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Koch
KEYNOTE SPEAKER

Fraunhofer FKIE/University of Bonn 

For many years, Wolfgang Koch has been researching for the Bundeswehr and the German defence procurement and industry. His work comprises all aspects of Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance ISR, Electronic / Navigation Warfare, resources management, and Manned-Unmanned Teaming.  

He is heading the Department of Sensor Data and Information Fusion at Fraunhofer FKIE. As Chief Scientist of Fraunhofer FKIE, he is responsible also on a broader scale for R&D activities related to digitalization in the defence and security domain. For the national FCAS technology development, he coordinates the defence-related Fraunhofer Institutes. He is particularly interested in ethical, social, and legal aspects of digitization. At the international level, he is active in the International Information Fusion Society ISIF, the IEEE Aerospace and Electronics Systems Society AESS, and the NATO Science and Technology Organization.  

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Wolfgang Koch earned his PhD in theoretical physics at the RWTH Aachen and his habilitation in computer science at the University of Bonn. There he teaches signal processing, sensor data fusion, artificial intelligence, and technical autonomy as a professor for computer science. In these fields he has published a monograph, edited handbook, and wrote numerous technical articles. 

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Prof. Rain Ottis
SPEAKER

Professor of Cyber Operations and the Head of the Centre for Digital Forensics and Cyber Security in Tallinn University of Technology, Estonia.

From 2008 to 2012 he served as a researcher at the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence, where he worked on cyber security in the context of national and international security. Prior to that assignment he served as a communications officer in the Estonian Defence Forces, focusing primarily on cyber defence training and awareness. His research interests include cyber conflict, national cyber security and cyber security exercises.

Dr. Mairo Leier
SPEAKER

Mairo Leier has a PhD in Computer Systems from Tallinn University of Technology and works in the university as a Senior Researcher and a Team Lead of Embedded AI Research Lab.

His research directions involve Machine Learning on edge computing, Optimization technologies for AI, Sensor fusion on embedded systems and R&D projects related to maritime and military applications. Leier is also the founder and CTO at VizTrack Estonia & VizTrack APS. 

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Dr. Illimar Ploom
SPEAKER

llimar Ploom is associate professor at the Department of Strategic Studies and Innovation at the Estonian Military Academy. He holds doctoral degree in modern history (D.Phil.) from University of Oxford.

He has worked as a researcher and lecturer at Tartu University and Tallinn University of Technology. His main research interests include European security and defence initiatives, innovation studies and European defence industry, resilience and comprehensive defence approaches, EU-Russia relations and European integration theory.

Dr. Tarmo Kalvet
SPEAKER

Tarmo Kalvet is an adjunct professor at the Department of Business Administration at Tallinn University of Technology, Estonia. He is also the research director of the Institute of Baltic Studies.

He holds a PhD in technology governance from Tallinn University of Technology. He has published more than 100 research and policy analysis papers in the fields of economic development and on the role of the state, especially in the areas of enterprise, economics, research, innovation, and ICT policies. From this perspective, he has contributed to a joint research project with the Estonian Military Academy. 

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Dr. Kaarel Piip
SPEAKER

Kaarel Piip is a leading researcher and the head of the Electronic Warfare Competence Centre (EWCC) at the Estonian Military Academy.

He holds a PhD in physics from University of Tartu. His research background is in plasma physics, optical spectroscopy and military innovation. In EWCC his work is mainly related to the radio frequency applications in military environment. The focus of his research are cost effective and flexible electronic warfare solutions.

Kelly Chen
SPEAKER

Founding Team, NATO Innovation Fund (NIF)

Kelly is a partner on the senior management team at NIF, an inaugural €1 billion venture fund backing ambitious founders to secure the future for the Alliance's 1B citizens. The fund invests in deep tech, defense, and resilience, with themes including security, energy, autonomy, climate, industrials, space, and biotechnology. NIF operates as a standalone VC, leading both early stage investments and fund-of-funds.

Previously, Kelly was a Partner at DCVC, a $4B AUM deep tech fund in the Silicon Valley, where she served on the board of industrial, robotics, and sustainability companies. Prior, Kelly was a fixed income derivatives trader in New York, overseeing nearly $2B, an angel investor, and had built out a new securitized trading product for a global investment bank. Outside of work, she can be found in the ocean - diving, eFoiling, sailing, and more.

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Mr. Neeme Raud
MODERATOR

Mr. Neeme Raud is a Journalist, News Anchor and International Correspondent with 30+ years of experience.

He has worked for TV, Radio and Print-media in the US, Russia, and Estonia and has a Master of Foreign Affairs degree from Columbia University, New York. B.A, degree (Summa Cum Laude) in Organizational Behavior and Communications from New York University.

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