Summary and objectives
Principal objective of the consortium is to act as a “springboard” for European dual-use companies wishing to integrate global value chains and facilitate the development of sustainable long-term partnerships.
However, before being able to efficiently support the European companies, notably SMEs, in their conquest of dual-use markets in non-EU countries, the consortium needs carry out various actions described below to reach the specific objectives, namely:
1. Selection of most promising dual-use market segments for KETs cross-fertilization
Consortium partners collectively have over 200 members with various competencies in the field of dual-use technologies and related applications. The objective is therefore to identify the most promising dual-use market segments in relation to cross‐cutting KETs that will address clear industrial and market needs in selected third countries.
2. Identification and validation of targeted third (non-EU) countries
The consortium has already identified certain regions with countries of particular interest, based on the feedback from their members.
The North American region with United States of America (USA) and Canada is clearly one of the priority destinations given its size and the dominance of its defence & security market. The USA remains the country with the highest annual military expenditure in the world, which grew by 1.7 % between 2015 and 2016 to $611 billion, representing 36% of world military expenditure. However, the US market remains notoriously difficult to penetrate due to the fact that local actors hold privileged positions and where institutional actors clearly favour to supply from US-origin products, technologies and services. Moreover, future spending patterns remain uncertain due to the changing political situation. Canada, together with the USA, represents 90% of total spending in the Americas. Although its defence spending is significantly lower (€15 billion) it could represent entry door to the US market.
Middle East, particularly certain Arab states of the Persian Gulf (Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates) is another region, which will be closely scrutinised. Although military expenditure in the region decreased, mostly because of the decrease in oil revenues and associated economic problems attached to the oil-price shock, Saudi Arabia remains 4th and United Arab Emirates (UAE) 14th biggest spender on a global scale. However, the Middle East markets tend to be difficult to navigate and ever more now due to the currently ongoing diplomatic row between Qatar and Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain, among others.
Last but not least, military spending in Asia and Oceania amounted to $450 billion in 2016, an increase of 4,6 % on 2015. Five of the top fifteen global spenders in 2016 are in Asia and Oceania (China, India, Japan, South Korea and Australia) and many ongoing tensions in the region help governments to continue to justify the need to modernize their military capabilities and to drive military spending upwards. South Korea, Indonesia and Singapore seem particularly interesting destination to the companies of the Partnership.
The objective n°2 is therefore to identify and validate the choice of targeted third countries (non-EU Member States).
3. Trailblazing the KETs dual-use markets beyond the EU
The objective n°2 is therefore of particular importance, as it will help the Partnership to narrow down the number of potentially interesting countries. However, this will be done purely on theoretical basis. In order to complete the latter with the practical component, the Partnership will elaborate a programme of “Fact-finding missions”.
These initial exploratory visits to selected third countries will confirm the viability of future cooperation with local peers from a practical point of view. Establishing personal contacts and mutual trust with potential international partners is an essential element of international trade and even more so in a delicate domain of security and defence.
Partners already have their initial network of established contacts in certain countries mentioned above and will use those, if possible, as a an entry point for organisations of visits and for being introduced to further local players in order to extend the network of contacts. This will allow the Partnership to get a better market insight and gather intelligence in a specific third country in order to understand market trends and to identify early business opportunities in line with added value of Partnership’s combined competencies and know-how.
4. Forming a sustainable partnership
From very first discussions onwards, initiated among CenSec, EDIA and OPTITEC, the intention of partners was to collaborate with a long-term perspective, particularly as the defence sector is known to have long development cycles. The addition of Minalogic cluster, a world-class cluster, has equilibrated the techno-industrial & applicative dual-use balance of the Partnership and further complemented its range of technologies in the field of KETs.
This project is therefore a first concrete step and a clear indicator of partners’ willingness to form a sustainable partnership. It also lays basis for establishing a long-term agenda, particularly as the partnership has already identified a certain number of challenges & needs of its SME members with regards to the access of dual use markets in third countries.