At the NATO Summit in Warsaw, Allies agreed on the need to contribute more to the efforts of the international community in projecting stability and strengthening security by increasing
Allied defense spending with an emphasis on improving innovation, research and development and procurement processes. Following the NATO-EU Joint Declaration, the EU has begun to offer grants for collaborative research in innovative defence technologies and products, fully and directly funded from the EU budget. The role of the EDA has initiated a two-strand approach for financing consisting of research and development and acquisition amounting to hundreds of millions of Euros. With an emphasis on electronics, metamaterials, encrypted software and robotics, these funds will create incentives for Member States to cooperate on joint development and acquisition of defence equipment. Essential to the success of these new policies, is a strong engagement with Small and Medium Enterprise (SMEs), particularly in areas of knowledge sharing, technical assistance, early warning systems and cybersecurity. To be effective in strengthening engagement with SMEs, the potential added value of a formal SME Advisory Group will be discussed.

In light of the emerging security challenges in several domains such as cyber space, energy, and the constant threat of terrorism, organizations like NATO and the EU must expand their
cooperation with industry while encouraging engagement with SMEs to stimulate greater innovation and maximize the efficiency of Euro-Atlantic defence spending. The purpose of this Round Table is to gather representatives from NATO, EDA along with defence industries and SMEs to explore opportunities for an SME Advisory Group with the aim to bringing innovative solutions to Allied capabilities.

The agenda of this round table was as follows:

12.45
WELCOME ADDRESS
Mr. Jason WISEMAN
Secretary General, Atlantic Treaty Association

12.50
KEY NOTE ADDRESS
Mr. Rudy PRIEM
Director, Government Relations for Europe & NATO, Security – Defense – Space, United Technologies
Corporation

13.00
TOPIC OF DISCUSSION
At the NATO Meeting in May Allies reaffirmed the importance of increasing their defense spending while improving their defence capabilities. As Estonia now holds the Presidency of the Council of the European Union, a stronger emphasis on engagement with Small and Medium Enterprise (SMEs), particularly in areas of knowledge sharing, technical assistance, early warning systems and cybersecurity, are expected to be high on the EU agenda. As research and procurement budgets continue to increase, organizations like NATO and the EU must expand their cooperation with industry beyond the traditional defense sector while encouraging engagement with SMEs into the industrial supply chain to stimulate greater innovation and maximize the efficiency of Euro-Atlantic defence spending. To ensure effective engagement in this area, panelists will discuss the value of establishing an SME Advisory Group and explore opportunities for a structured engagement with SMEs with the aim to bringing innovative solutions to Allied capabilities. These discussions will yield policy recommendations for a more collaborative smart defence strategy.

MODERATOR
Mr. Brooks TIGNER
Chief Policy Analyst, SECURITY EUROPE

REMARKS
Mr. Ernest J HEROLD
Deputy Assistant Secretary General, NATO Defence Investment Division

Mrs. Tarja JAAKKOLA
Deputy Director/Head of Unit, Industry Strategy and EU Policies, European Defence Agency
PERSPECTIVES ON ATTRACTING CAPITAL TOWARDS INNOVATIVE SMEs

Mr. Francesco TRONCI
Private Equity Investment Professional (VP, Investindustrial)

13.25
Q/A SESSION

14.30
CONCLUSION