Blog written by Reg Pula, ADS Defence Policy Advisor 

The ongoing crisis in Ukraine has demonstrated the value and importance of investing in defence and the NATO Alliance.  

Industry has an important role to play in NATO, through the NATO Industrial Advisory Group (NIAG). The NIAG is a high-level consultative and advisory body of senior industrialists of NATO member countries, meeting three times a year and acting under the Conference of National Armaments Directors (CNAD), with the aims of:   

  • Providing a forum for free exchange of views on industrial, technical, economic, management and other relevant aspects of research, development and production of armament equipment within the Alliance;  
  • Providing industry’s advice to the CNAD on how to foster government-to-industry and industry-to-industry armaments co-operation within the Alliance; 
  • Providing optimal use of NIAG resources to assist Main Armaments Groups, and their subordinate bodies, in exploring opportunities for international collaboration, and seeking timely and efficient ways to satisfy NATO military requirements.   

BAE Systems representative, Dave Williams, outside NATO HQ during the recent NIAG plenary of 23-24th February.

The UK NIAG delegation, chosen by industry, serves as the UK industry’s voice into the NIAG and consists of:

  • Sir Stuart Atha, Director of Defence Capability at BAE Systems and former Deputy Commander Operations and Air Marshall of the RAF, who serves as the Head of the Delegation.
  • Ian Harris, Head of Campaign Strategy and Engagement at Leonardo UK, who serves as the Delegation’s Land Domain Representative.
  • Professor Julia Sutcliffe, Chief Technologist at BAE Systems, who serves as the Delegation’s Emerging Disruptive Technologies (EDT) Representative, as well as the UK industry representative on NATO’s Science and Technology Board.
  • Professor Julian Hasinski, Capability Manager – Distributed Anti-Submarine Warfare at Ultra Maritime UK, who serves as the Delegation’s Maritime Representative.
  • Al Byford, Defence and Political Adviser (Air) at MBDA UK, who serves as the Delegation’s Air Domain Representative.

In the most recent NIAG Plenary on the 23rd-24th of February, industry were updated on a range of developments, including NATO’s new Defence Innovation Accelerator (DIANA).

UK industry representatives and ADS members who wish to strengthen their strategic engagement with and access commercial opportunities through NATO, and input into the NIAG Plenaries, can do so by joining the ADS UK Industry NATO Forum (UKINF). If you would like to find out more, please contact Reg Pula at