12 April 2022 – It is undeniable that critical technologies for security and defence are increasingly driven by innovation in commercial sectors. Consequently, we support the objective of developing a comprehensive approach towards defence and security technologies, across the civ-mil dividing line and combining European with national levels. We agree that the EU is the appropriate framework for developing and implementing this approach, as European cooperation is essential for investing finite resources more efficiently. We therefore share the ambition to develop the future European security and defence technological and innovation landscape under EU cooperative frameworks from the outset.
At the same time, we realise the magnitude of the change that this implies. Due to the long-standing separation of civilian and defence RTD&I, there are deep-rooted regulatory and reputational hurdles to civ-mil synergies in Europe and a general lack of interest in pursuing dual-use goals. On top of that comes the challenge to bring coherence into the multiplicity of responsibilities, policies, and programmes. Dots must be connected between many different organisations from different constituencies, which enhances complexity and can easily lead to friction losses. We hope that the war in Ukraine creates enough awareness and political pressure to overcome these obstacles and speed up the necessary changes.
The exploitation of dual-use potentials and synergies is essential for the capacity of the defence and security sector to cope with the dynamics and pace of technological evolution. However, the return of war in Europe shows also that there is more than that: In Europe, defence and security technologies have suffered for decades from under-investment. investment. Developing capabilities that can withstand a large-scale hybrid and military aggression needs therefore not only enhanced civ-mil synergies, but also an adequate level of funding for defence and security-specific RTD.
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Defence & Security Director
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