NATO Industry Forum 2014: the Long Way for a Smart Dialogue with Industry

13641675 the long waySplit, 13 Nov, 2014. – This year the NATO-Industry Forum (NIF 2014) addressed the recognized need for an elevated strategic dialogue between industry and NATO to ensure that the Alliance benefits from the best solutions to military requirements, within expected budget and time constraints, now and in the foreseeable future.

Following the September 2014 NATO Wales Summit, the Forum was an excellent venue to share the updated perspective and priorities given to the Alliance by Heads of States and Governments.

A specific focus this year was dedicated to exploring new ways to provide better Education, Training and Exercises to NATO forces and its Allies. In all strands of capability development, innovation should be welcomed and encouraged, creating new opportunities for industry. For the long-term, NATO has to plan a renewed set of capabilities in order to adjust to new challenges and to best leverage new technologies. In this context, strengthening the transatlantic bond through industrial cooperation will also be discussed.

In summary, according to Joško Klisović, Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister in the opening speech, ” Needles to say, defense industry is of the strategic importance for the ability of the Alliance to perform at its best. Therefore, development of defense industry has to go hand in hand with the needs of the Alliance.

Over the years, the area of military research and development had fused defense and the cutting edge technology, with the civilian sector eventually enjoying the advantages of those innovations. Now, in many areas, the situation has changed. The civilian industry has a unique knowledge and a wealth of expertise on matters like cyber defense, fuel-cell energy, and logistics and so on.

We must find better ways of using public-private partnerships in order to explore the military potential of emerging technologies, and to involve the industry sooner and more closely.”

Finally mr. Ben FitzGerald gave a speech on “Future Warfare, Future Requirements”. Up to years ‘70 “Offset Strategy was the driver of Military Capability Development. Today, with budgets shrinking, the commercial sector technological growth, the asymmetric threats created some “disruptive” effects. Tomorrow? The increased speed of information exchange, the growing influence of new power, middle east & Asia, among others are elements that cannot controlled with classical approach. The analysis, the need to address future requirements for the new strategies is mandatory: but who can do it? Classical or Innovative? A change of relations between industry and Administrations can be in support of this? We need to establish and change the strategy , he said, for new business/operational models sustainable: and, as a matter of fact, the changes are more accepted in a crisis period.

Reinforced by the Framework for NATO Industry Engagement, NATO is engaged in a smart and open dialogue with Industry. The NATO-Industry Forum is a milestone where the relationship between NATO and Industry will be discussed, challenged and fed with insights and ideas.

Ten years ago the process started with the ACT Industry Day named “NATO Transformation, Partnership with Industry”, today, Gen. Palomeros, ACT, said, we start to have the tools to work the process. I see – he concluded – 2015 a very crucial year to progress and achieve good results”.

rev 13 Nov 14 23:00

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