General Abrial recently co-hosted a roundtable workshop on "Industrial Contributions to Smart Defence" with the NATO Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Defence Investment, Ernest (E.J.) Herold at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) in London.
During the workshop, one of a series of events to discuss Smart Defence in the months leading up to the NATO Summit in Chicago in May, more than sixty senior leaders from NATO, Nations, Industry and 'Think Tanks', and the EU explored "Industrial Contributions to Smart Defence".
While it is widely recognised that industry has an opportunity to play a significant role in the Member Nations' implementation of Smart Defence, this was the first event to specifically focus on this particular issue. The participants represented a broad range of stakeholders that will be responsible for implementing Smart Defence through multinational collaboration.
Several expert panellists led discussions on how Nations could benefit from the extensive expertise and knowledge inherent in industry. The group examined industry's roles in Smart Defence regarding: Nations' interests and expectations for Smart Defence; Industry's perspective of Smart Defence opportunities and risks; NATO's facilitating role in the evolving relationship with Industry; and Principles for industrial contribution to Smart Defence.
The ideas generated by this workshop will provide practical advice to Nations that will lead multinational projects to develop essential capabilities for NATO, under the umbrella of the Smart Defence initiative introduced by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen last year. The group also identified several changes that could be made in NATO, to enhance Industry's opportunities to support Nations in implementing Smart Defence.
Key proposals from the workshop will be included in proposals for effective implementation of Smart Defence and will be provided to Nations in advance of the NATO Summit. Additionally, this topic will be explored in detail during the 2012 ACT Industry Day engagement.
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