Workshop: Industrial Contribution to Smart Defence09:30, 15 Mar 2012
RUSI, Whitehall, London, SW1A 2ET
Link to map: multimap
About the event:
In Association with
NATO can streamline its collaborative engagement with industry throughout the life-cycle of capabilities, even without leverage on industry or regulation, thus delivering more sustainable, interoperable capabilities. To that end, RUSI, ACT and NATO Defence Investment convened a seminar to explore ways NATO, industry and the nations can exploit industry's experience and anticipate new challenges.
Report of Joint Workshop
The Smart Defence initiative, introduced by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen in February 2011, was a key topic for discussion at Allied Command Transformation's annual Industry Day, held in London last September. During the plenary session, one participant asked, 'When does industry get involved in Smart Defence?' The relevance of this question to the successful implementation of Smart Defence was recognised and, as a result, a workshop was planned to specifically address industry's contributions to this initiative.
More than sixty senior experts from NATO gathered at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) in London on 15 March 2012 to discuss how industry could contribute to the implementation of NATO's Smart Defence initiative. The workshop was jointly hosted by RUSI, the Supreme Allied Commander Transformation (SACT) and the NATO Assistant Secretary General for Defence Investment (ASG/DI). It was one of several high level workshops scheduled during the months leading up to the next NATO summit in Chicago to explore fundamental issues related to the Smart Defence initiative.
While it was broadly recognised that industry involvement would be an essential element of Smart Defence, there had been little opportunity prior to this workshop to explore the scope of industry's contributions or identify what could be done, for example through facilitation by NATO, to increase the effectiveness of these contributions.
Although the discussion focused on exploring industry perspectives, this forum was designed to include a broad range of Smart Defence stakeholders. Invitations were issued to senior representatives from NATO authorities and the nations (including government, industry and academia). The workshop was hosted in a 'round table' format at RUSI, and the number of participants was limited to a relatively small group to encourage open discussions.
Two key questions highlighted the overall scope of the workshop:
- 'How can industry practices and principles support Smart Defence?'
- 'What adjustments are needed in NATO, nations and industry to enable more to be attained from industrial capacity in support of Smart Defence?'
The NATO nations were identified as the target audience for results obtained from the workshop, as they will be responsible for implementing Smart Defence initiatives. Significant results of the workshop will inform the development of the Smart Defence concept and the Smart Defence narrative being developed for the Chicago Summit. From the outset, it was also anticipated that several key issues would be identified that could benefit from further analysis.
The one-day roundtable workshop was planned as a series of discussion sessions, to elicit a range of views from the different stakeholders' perspectives. Senior moderators from RUSI managed the flow of discussions during each of the sessions.
Professor Michael Clarke (Director-General, RUSI) introduced the session with an opening thought: Although there may be little that is new in Smart Defence, ideas have their time, 'If not now, when will factors converge to make nations serious about the proposals made by the NATO Secretary General?'
General Stéphane Abrial, in his role as NATO Secretary General's Special Envoy for Smart Defence, provided a keynote speech that described the background and goals of Smart Defence, setting the scene for the entire day's discussions.
Mr Ernest J. Herold, NATO Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Defence Investment, provided the second keynote speech that emphasized the benefits of early engagement between NATO and Industry related to capability development.
As the NATO summit in May 2012 approaches, all stakeholders have continued intensive efforts to implement and refine Smart Defence. It has now become widely recognised that industry will play an essential role in nations' efforts to achieve effective multinational collaboration. This workshop provided an initial opportunity to explore the scope of industry's contributions and identify where changes in NATO, nations and industry could increase the effectiveness of these contributions to Smart Defence.
Key results emerged from this workshop that will contribute to the Smart Defence narrative being prepared for the NATO summit. Many of these results are expected to lead to more detailed, follow-on analysis during the months ahead. These results are captured in three broad areas for NATO improvement which are further developed into ten specific proposals to move forward.
The three broad areas identified for NATO improvements are:
First - Harmonise and simplify the links between NATO, nations and Industry. NATO should:
- Rationalise entry points for industry to improve coherency;
- Encourage on-going changes in industry (towards a 'Smart Defence Industry') that can complement the Smart Defence initiative;
- Clarify its role as a facilitator between nations and industry; and
- Promote opportunities to include innovation in capability development efforts, including closer engagement with small and medium size enterprises.
Second - Improve transparency and sharing of information between NATO, nations and industry. NATO should:
- Create a long-term capability development vision and share it with industry to inform industry's long term investment decisions;
- Consider industry to be an essential partner throughout capability development life cycles, to help increase efficiencies and effectiveness of solutions;
- Share operational lessons learned with industry;
- Engage industry support to optimise current inventories of capabilities; and
- Together with nations, increase opportunities to benefit from industry best practices and accumulated knowledge to achieve efficient multinational collaboration.
Third - Improve NATO's capability development and procurement processes. NATO should:
- Do more to harmonise nations' requirements with NATO requirements;
- Involve industry at early stages of capability development to build trust and assured knowledge to support decision-making (as evidenced by the success of the ACT Framework for Collaborative Interaction);
- Consider appropriate ways to engage industry in the NATO Defence Planning Process (NDPP); and
- Together with nations, provide seed funding for capability demonstrators.
Considering these three broad areas for improvement along with the key questions posed at the beginning of the event, ACT and DI offer the following proposals for either immediate action or consideration. These are offered in perceived order of relevant priority:
1) In the NDPP, provide more visibility and transparency to industry while developing specific requirements, capability packages and multinational projects (whether under Smart Defence or NDPP Priority Shortfall Areas). Such early involvement by industry can lead to more cost-effective and timely capability solutions such as Commercial off the Shelf (COTS) or 'Plug and Play' technologies.
2) Build on successes of non-procurement engagements with industry through the Framework for Collaborative Interaction (FFCI) initiative over the past two years. Improvements can be made, for example by working on capability based plans to address systems of systems, life cycle management, etc., making the FFCI collaborative work more relevant and useful, while giving industry better insights into future requirements and helping industry see traceability of their inputs in subsequent phases of the capability development process or in relevant (and shareable) steps of the NDPP.'
3) Define interoperability requirements correctly giving industry a 'front row seat'; and encourage nations to apply the standards in order to help develop the correct solutions and improve coherency building on NIAG as a primary entry point. This includes, but is not limited to, consideration of an evolving role for NIAG that can even include a re-examination of its Terms of Reference. The NDPP Task Force on Interoperability led by the Strategic Commanders and the NATO Standardisation Agency is a likely vehicle for this.
4) Rationalise entry points (specifically for NATO Requests for Proposal (RFP)) to simplify processes and improve coherency.
5) Build on initial actions taken to explore how to better involve small and medium size enterprises (SMEs), which are recognised to be engines of innovation. This will involve streamlining processes and procedures to simplify the complexities associated with NATO and industry interaction.
6) Bring more coherence to the existing outreach to academia, think tanks, and industry. The scientific and technology communities have roles related to innovation. Developing a prototype 'innovation hub' could institutionalize this approach and help to apply new ideas across capability portfolios.
7) Involve industry more aggressively in Concept Development & Experimentation - including inputs to development of doctrine, concepts of operations, tactical procedures and experimentation. One immediate approach could be to expand ACT sponsored TIDE-Sprint events.
8) Explore opportunities to achieve closer collaboration between industry and the Centres of Excellence (COEs), specifically in contributions to the development of concepts, doctrine, etc.
9) Streamline and improve timelines for Crisis Response Operations Urgent Requirements (CUR) and Capability Package (CP) development, to offer industry a greater possibility for involvement at multiple points in the capability development and delivery process.
10) Consider including industry advice to relevant working groups and boards. For example the recently proposed Capability Development Executive Board (CDEB), will address decision-making about capability development issues, including senior leader membership from NATO Headquarters, Bi-Strategic Commands, and NATO Agencies. It may be appropriate to solicit industry advice in solving some of these issues as a way to benefit from lessons learned and industry expertise.
The proposals emanating from the workshop underscore the high level of interest in Smart Defence and the need to identify the potential impact on industrial companies, large and small, within the NATO nations. Unfortunately, the business case for industry participation in multinational collaboration is not well defined. To address this, NATO and nations need to further develop the concepts, processes and mechanisms to clarify the benefits for industry from pursuit of and contribution to Smart Defence projects.
Co-hosting this event between RUSI, ACT and ASG/DI made a significant statement itself. Participation by so many stakeholders and the strong interest shown by industry emphasized the need to clearly define the role for industry in Smart Defence and to capitalise on the willingness to work together across organisational boundaries.
Smart Defence presents NATO with opportunities to implement meaningful change to benefit nations by increasing industry contributions to effective and efficient delivery of NATO capabilities. At the same time, NATO can play an essential role to facilitate industry collaboration and encourage exploitation of the wealth of hard-earned lessons learned that will lead to capabilities being delivered faster, better, cheaper in realisation of Smart Defence principles.
While NATO has no direct leverage on industry or influence on market regulation, it can play an important role in developing simplified, more collaborative engagements with industry throughout the life-cycle of capabilities (starting from the earliest stages) with a view to delivering sustainable and interoperable capabilities more collaboratively and cost effectively.
In response to our rapidly changing security environment, it is paramount that NATO, the nations and industry exploit the multiple business models available to more effectively anticipate the ever more challenging demands of the Alliance's forces.
Our intent for this workshop is that it be seen as another point in the continuum of stimuli to improve the ways for industry to contribute meaningfully to capability development in NATO.Event manager: Lynn Anderson, 01793 785648