Meet the Judges


We have assembled an expert panel of judges to evaluate your entries from the competitive 'digital' environment, based around this innovation assessment criteria. Judges will grade each domain out of 10, yielding a total score of up to 30 points.

The criteria was developed using the judges' expertise, including DASA's Mike Madden (meet Mike in the video opposite). 

To learn more about the DisTec Challenge or submit an entry, please use the buttons below.

Scroll down to meet our other judges.

Click play to meet DASA's Mike Madden

Challenge format >>

Judging criteria >>

Submit entry >>

Full Judging Panel

James White

James White

Executive Director, Defence Innovation Greenhouse (Head Judge)

A seasoned IT Leader and innovator with significant international experience, a rich entrepreneurial background and a proven track record of success in both the public and private sectors. Experienced in corporate strategy development, innovation management, system architecture, system engineering, IT operations, IT staffing, organizational change management, and marketing.

Currently serving as the founder and first Executive Director of The Defense Innovation Greenhouse (The DIG), an innovation, collaboration and best practices center aimed at accelerating the uptake of the latest technologies into EU / NATO military establishments and crisis responder communities. Building on my experience in both large inter-governmental organizations and also in small companies, I have a unique perspective of the challenges faced in the public sector to keep pace with the extremely rapid changes happening in IT and also in society as a whole.

Mike Madden 

Mike Madden 

DASA Innovation Partner, UK MoD 

Mike is an Innovation Partner with the Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) in the United Kingdom, and works with innovators to find new ideas that could benefit the defence and security communities.

Mike’s early career was as a Royal Air Force (RAF) Regiment officer, providing Force Protection for Royal Air Force assets wherever they are deployed.

He initially specialised in ground based air defence (GBAD), gaining international experience as well as specialist technical and training qualifications. On operational squadrons, he was the specialist lead for all individual and collective continuation training. Later, as the deputy commander of the RAF’s GBAD Wing, he was responsible for overseeing individual and collective training standardisation and assessment for the entire force.

Mike also specialised in chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) defence. In one senior staff appointment, he led the collective training effort for multinational CBRN forces assigned to NATO’s Response Force.  His last role before leaving was as the British Army Land Warfare Centre lead for collective training in Air-Land Integration.

Joining the UK Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) in 2009, Mike led the CBRN specialist training team at Dstl for a number of years, and fulfilled a variety of other roles in Dstl before joining DASA.

Mike is married to Angela, and has 2 university-age children, Thomas and Sophie.  He is an amateur luthier and lutenist, paraglider pilot and enthusiastic angler.


Trevor Nash

Trevor Nash

Editor, Military Training, Shephard Media

I served in the Royal Artillery from 1973 to 1986 specialising in tactical battlefield nuclear weapons and air defence. I attended the Gunnery Staff Course (Guided Weapons) and undertook a number of staff and instructional tours. On leaving the British Army I became a Programme/Marketing Manager – later Marketing Director - at a company specialising in display and image generators for flight simulators. A great fun job that gave me the opportunity to learn to fly.

Leaving in 1990 to work for a German publishing company as their UK/Scandinavian Editor and Editor of their simulation and training magazine, I became a freelance writer working for a number of publishing companies, including Jane’s, where I worked for nine years editing Jane’s Simulation & Training Systems yearbook.

During this period, I created The Write Partnership Ltd that specialised in publishing training newsletters and magazines, contract publishing.

I have a BA (Hons) in Modern History and an MA in Air Power Studies from the University of Birmingham. That was so much fun that I’m now just half way through a part-time PhD.

Mark Madden

Mark Madden

Branch Head (Modeling and Simulation Training Technologies), NATO

Mark has considerable expertise and competence in all aspects of strategic and operational military operations. A leader with over 26-years of military experience in strategic planning, organisational budgeting, technical staffing, technology development and business process improvement, Mark is accustomed to high stakes environments and dedicated to strategic thinking aimed at solving organisations’ complex problems with extensive background in managing complex portfolios that included Military Decision Packages (MDEPs) for the Program Objective Memorandum (POM) for simulations within the US Department of Defense.

In his current role, Mark provides modelling, simulation and training technology support to the NATO Command Structure (NCS) in the areas of operational planning, capability development, strategic and operational exercising and war games. This makes him ideally suited to judge the DisTec Challenge entries!

About the Challenge

All qualifying entries will be displayed on the DisTec Challenge website, creating a showcase of emerging solutions. 

The judging panel will select a shortlist of entries to proceed to the Grand Final - broadcast live on the IT²EC website in late 2020, accompanied by a series of keynote addresses from leading industry stakeholders.

Our judges will select an overall winner, with a separate Peoples' Choice award determined by an online public vote.

Both winning organisations will receive a complimentary exhibition stand at the next edition of DisTec in Seville, or equivalent discount on conference/networking tickets, worth up to £4,000.

Entries can include developments across training, education or simulation, including:
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Augmented Reality 
  • Autonomous Systems
  • Cognitive Enhancement
  • Machine Learning 
  • Robotics
  • Virtual Reality
  • Wearable Technology
  • 5G

Not sure if your organisation or idea qualifies? Send us an email.