Digital resilience: Experts recommend focus on interoperability and simplified procurement to retain technological edge
On 6 October 2022, DIGITALEUROPE brought together key stakeholders from the EUinstitutions, Member States, NATO allies as well as the digital industry for a high-level roundtable on developing critical digital technologies to boost Europe’s digital resilience.
The discussion looked at possible avenues of collaboration between the private and public sectors to ramp up innovation on new technologies through empowering SMEs to grow dual use goods while strengthening civil-military cooperation.
Since the start of the Russian invasion, we have witnessed a paradigm shift as countries reconsider their approach to defence, particularly in terms of investments. Currently, there is a lack of structured dialogue between the private and the public sectors –both NATO and the EU which makes any impactful partnership hard to achieve.
The invasion has focused minds and budgets, but the Ukrainians themselves have also showcased a new model for public-private cooperation which we can learn from. Events in Ukraine and elsewhere in the world also show a widening split between democratic and authoritarian regimes.
Democratic countries must work harder to retain their technological edgeand stay ahead of the curve. Today, innovation is significantly driven by the private sector and is picked up at a later stage by the military. Historically, it has been the other way around.
The roundtable has also concluded that attracting non-traditional players and supporting smaller companies should happen through making procurement rules more agile. There is a growing need for a stronger pan-European cooperation and that makes cross-border investments a must.
The defence industry is going through a digital transformation requiring a highly skilled workforce. The Russian invasion of Ukraine has been a wake-up call that for Europe to build a strong digital shield, it must foster solid cooperation with NATO and its promising private sector. The future of warfare is collaborative.