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Science and Technology Organization (STO)

STO logoThe STO (Science and Technology Organization) is NATO’S main science and technology research body. Its aim is to meet to the best advantage the collective needs of NATO, NATO Nations and partner Nations in the fields of Science and Technology.

The STO, formally established on 1 July 2012 as a consequence of the NATO Agencies Reform process, has inherited the functions and activities that were previously under the responsibility of the former RTO (Research and Technology Organization), an organization which was operational from 1998 to the date previously indicated. Over those years, the RTO successfully provided a forum to promote the launching of collaborative defence R&T projects and the exchange of scientific and technical information between the NATO nations and the partner nations. Within the new STO, cooperation activities will be supported by the CSO (Collaboration Support Office), which will continue to promote the RTO’s successful collaborative R&T model. The CSO is located in Paris and has replaced the former RTA (Research & Technology Agency).

The STO is the biggest international organization in the field of defence S&T cooperation, performing around 140 activities a year which involve more than 5,000 experts belonging to NATO and partner nations.

The STO also integrates in its structure the former NURC (NATO Undersea Research Centre), which is now called CMRE (Centre for Maritime Research and Experimentation).


As a result of the new organization, science and technology is provided in the STO using two complementary “business models”:

  • The collaborative business model, where NATO provides a forum where NATO nations and partner nations can use their national resources to define, promote and perform cooperative research and information exchange. The CSO is in charge of implementing this model within the STO.
  • The in-house delivery business model, where science and technology activities are conducted in a dedicated STO executive body having its own personnel, capabilities and infrastructure. The CMRE is in charge of implementing this model within the STO.

The STO collaborative model: Technical Panels

The total spectrum of collaborative Science and Technology activities performed within the STO are promoted and managed by seven Technical Panels/Group, each one focused on a specific technological domain. Together the seven Panels/Group cover the complete range of defence-applied technologies. The STO Panels/Group are:

  • AVT (Applied Vehicle Technology)
  • HFM (Human Factors and Medicine)
  • IST (Information Systems Technology)
  • SAS (System Analysis and Studies)
  • SCI (Systems Concepts and Integration)
  • SET (Sensors & Electronics Technology)
  • NMSG (NATO Modelling and Simulation Group)

Los paneles constituyen la fuerza motora del modelo de colaborativo de la STO y en ellos participan tanto representantes nacionales como científicos, ingenieros y expertos tecnológicos del entorno OTAN, algunos de ellos profesionales de reconocido prestigio.

The Technical Panels/Group are the power-house of the STO collaborative business model and are made up of national representatives as well as world-class scientists, engineers and information specialist from NATO Nations.

The STO’s scientific and technological work is carried out by the so-called Technical Teams. They are temporary groups created under the Panels/Group to perform specific activities, ranging from studies of scientific, technological or operational nature to demonstrations and technological experiments. Technical Teams activities include also the organization of events such as symposia, conferences and workshops.

For further information on STO, please visit its webpage.


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