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University of Northampton risk expert gives keynote speech at NATO event

Date 6.12.2019

As presidents and prime ministers gathered in Hertfordshire this week for a NATO summit, a University of Northampton academic gave a keynote speech at an associated event.

Dr Mils Hills, who is an Associate Professor in Risk, Resilience and Corporate Security, was a guest at a Maritime Intelligence Symposium, which was held at the NATO Allied Maritime Command (MARCOM) a matter of miles from the summit venue.

Dr Hills, an internationally recognised expert on hybrid and information warfare, was invited to present a keynote on the opening day of the symposium. Working with a consultancy established by a graduate of the University’s military MBA programme, Minerva Elite, Dr Hills led an interactive presentation on the need for NATO members and allies to address complex and challenging aspects of warfare in novel and effective ways. From the annexation of Ukrainian Crimea to various conflicts in or near coastlines around the world, hybrid warfare and related security threats pose a major headache for those tasked with preparing military capabilities.

Sean Colsey, from Minerva Elite’s force development practice, underscored Dr Hills’ conceptual presentation with practical applications drawn from real-world experience as an army commando and co-working with Dr Hills in advising and coaching elite military and security organisations in the UK and beyond. The audience was presented with a series of unique perspectives on how totally unique approaches to thinking about, planning and executing everything from intelligence-gathering, kinetic operations and building the immunity of nation states, businesses, national infrastructure and civil services, would contribute to ensuring the relevance and effectiveness of NATO members and partners.

Reflecting on the day, Dr Hills said: “it’s always gratifying to present to audiences of military and civilian personnel who are open to new ways of working – and also run with innovative ideas and are actively looking to put them into practice.”

He added: “Some of the 100-strong audience, who included senior commanders from the Alliance, are actively interested in exploring further collaboration with the University and Minerva Elite.”

A version of the presentation given will be publicly available soon – and the underpinning research being pulled-through into application with defence organisations of this calibre represents an example of the work being done at the University of Northampton that will form a crucial part of the forthcoming Research Excellence Framework (REF) assessment.