NZDIA IDEAS 2020 Defence Information Engagement Acceleration Summit– Part 2 – Online

Event Date: November 4, 2020

This page is full of information about this fantastic event held on the 4th & 5th of November 2020.

If you were an attendee at this event you can access a selection of resources including Video Recordings of the Presentations and a detailed Insights Package filled with precies about the presentations and information given.

This resources page can be found HERE and can be accessed using the Resources Password sent to attendees.


This event would not have been possible without the fantastic support of all our sponsors.

  • Microsoft – Headline Sponsor
  • Unisys – Sponsoring the 8 Minutes On… Stream and Broadening NZ company participation
  • Bridgewest Ventures – Sponsoring the Science, Technology and Innovation Stream
  • Dispel – Premium Sponsor
  • Teradata – Premium Sponsor
  • Palo Alto Networks – Premium Sponsor
  • Optic Security – Premium Sponsor
  • Datacom – Premium Sponsor
  • Vodafone – Premium Sponsor
  • Check Point Software Technologies
  • Fortinet
  • SAP
  • Bell Helicopters
  • Beca
  • SSCL

Background to IDEAS2020 Parts One and Two

In 2019, The Defence Capability Plan gave us an initial glimpse into what New Zealand’s information domain might look like. The DCP states:

“Enhancing situational awareness, response, information fidelity and command and control ability, the information domain is essential to ensuring military capabilities are enhanced and remain credible within a global context.”

The DCP workshop in August 2019 was the first opportunity for industry to hear about the capabilities being considered in this domain, and Defence has been planning for some time to create an opportunity to engage with industry.

Industry has a first and historical opportunity to contribute to the establishment of this new and increasingly important domain, and Government has signalled strongly that it is looking to us (industry) to come up with solutions around information driven personnel, IT, AI, big data, data analytics, infrastructure, training and other capabilities across intelligence, cyber and electronic warfare, information activities and C4.

While maintaining NZDIA’s core focus on Defence stakeholders, IDEAS 2020 will bring together industry (local, regional and international) and also a range of Government agencies, to explore the development of further long term collaboration, in relation to the information domain.

When planning the whole event, we identified a need to ensure we strike the balance between broadcast of critical info needed by Industry, and giving industry time to marshal their thoughts and ideas to share back with Defence, we decided on a Two Part Summit.

Ideas 2020 Part One

In the Past Events Section on the Website you can also find more information on Part One.  

Structure of IDEAS 2020 Part Two

In Part Two there was an opportunity for industry, academia and other agencies to engage with MOD/NZDF people and projects (again with the emphasis on Defence and agencies listening to the ideas and solutions of industry and academia, around the Info Domain).

The programme from this event can still be downloaded HERE.

In Part Two there were:

  • Multiple sessions and streams;
  • Academic Thought Leadership and cutting edge research insights;
  • Opportunities to maximise influence on Government thinking, with industry presentations on capability and thought leadership;
  • Live presentations from Government MOD and replays of the key presentations from Part One;
  • Peer to peer industry discussions around collaboration on projects and supply chain relationships;
  • The opportunity to engage with NZDF and MOD industry engagement teams, speakers and personnel in attendance, to discuss further the opportunities for industry within the Information Domain;
  • A virtual trade delegation from the UK;
  • Pre-recorded and manned (live) booths from our sponsors and others
    and, as always with NZDIA Events,
  • Networking in a range of different ways.

We identified 9 topic areas (which emerged out of the presentations at Part One) around which we structured Part Two, being:

  1. Cyber and Electronic Warfare
  2. Intelligence
  3. Information Activities
  4. Command, Control and Communication
  5. Information Environment
  6. Corporate and Operations
  7. All of Government
  8. Science, Technology and Innovation (STI); and  
  9. Industry Engagement: MOD/NZDF and across industry.

A Look at the Speaker Line Up!

The IDEAS 2020 Part Two speaker programme brought together a who’s who of organisations at the forefront of information innovation in New Zealand and beyond, including Microsoft, Fortinet, Vodafone, Palo Alto, Dispel, Teradata, Bridgewest Ventures, Fortinet, Datacom, Check Point Software Technologies, Beca, SAP, Optic Security, Unisys, Bell Helicopters leading universities and government agencies, and a wide range of suppliers in the defence and national security sectors.

This was out best and most diverse collection of speakers ever, with a wide-ranging showcase of industry capability and thought leadership. We were delighted to a kick off with Microsoft and Aware Group showcasing the best of NZ and global commercial collaboration and have Callaghan Innovation’s CEO Vic Crone presenting on Day One on NZ’s technology future and framing the drivers of this event. 

The industry line-up was bristling with talent, featuring Check Point Softwares Cyber Security Evangelist Ashwin Ram on threat trends, Palo Alto’s VP Public Sector (Ret) Major General, U.S. Army, John A. Davis on cyber and the Palo Alto JPAC CISO Sean Duca on the role of autonomous, Sam Houghton from Beca on digital twins, and Fortinet CISO Philip Quade. 

Teradata CTO Stephen Brobst enlightened us on advanced analytics, Precision Driven Health’s Kevin Ross explored pandemic modelling and algorithmic decision making, and we also be heard from Vodafone’s Matt Hitti on 5G private networks and Jodie King on managing culture in the time of COVID-19. Continuing the bumper line-up, Unisys’ Ashwin Pal guided us through increasing cyber resilience and Spark’s team shared insights from using Agile in complex projects .

Thanks to the new entrant to our community Dispel, we be heard from Constantine Macris of Mystic River Associates a U.S. Coast Guard Academy Instructor talking live from East Coast USA, about securing information in the age of digital feudalism and also from Mackenize Morris from the Savannah River National Laboratory on remote learning ICS cyber security. Thanks to Bridgewest Ventures, the sponsor of the STI stream, we were able to gain rare insights into calculations on encrypted data from a cryptographic expert. Added to this was a diverse collection of speakers presenting across cyber security, EW, Agile, intelligence, supply chains, procurement, commercial and asset management in the information domain.

The programme’s academic line-up was equally dazzling, with the pick of academics from Canterbury, including Professor Richard Green and Dr Graeme Wood. From Waikato University, Dr Albert Bifet talked on AI and machine learning and Matt Mahon talked about working with an industry partner to create an industrial and critical infrastructure cyber security business. The renowned keynote speaker Professor Craig Rodger of Otago University spoke on space weather disruptions to GNSS systems, Kate Hannah from the University of Auckland explored COVID-19 disinformation, and there’s others worth mentioning that we just can’t fit into one webpage!