European Union’s new defence initiatives, including the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) and the European Defence Fund (EDF), aim to increase cooperation between Member States and the defence industry, where joint investment in research and capability development is crucial. The Republic of Slovenia supports the position that upgrading the European defence industrial and technological base, founded on the inclusion of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), is especially important for countries that do not have their own large dedicated defence industry.
The strategic compass, which aims at directing and operationalizing various defence initiatives and harmonizing them in a common European crisis response, will not only evaluate concrete capability projects, but also focus on a defence innovation hub and new instruments in critical technologies. In order to achieve these goals, it will be necessary to connect various forms of industry, technological research institutes and universities, where SMEs will play a key role.
The workshop will focus on the involvement and participation of SMEs in defence initiatives and resulting consortia to provide mechanisms for maximizing the openness of European supply chains.
While a detailed draft of the programme will be available soon, presentations from the European Defence Agency, the European Commission DG DEFIS and the Slovenian Ministry of Defence have already been confirmed. More so, the workshop will feature an array of presentations from Slovenian SMEs in the defence sector, including Guardiaris from Slovenia, as well as global giant Airbus. To top it all off, a round table will host a lively debate among industry leaders, complimented by a renowned moderator specialised on defence and security issues.