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Reflections on Industry's Contributions to Smart Defence

Edited by Lisa Aronsson and John Louth
Occasional Papers, 8 October 2012
International Security Studies, NATO, Equipment and Acquisitions
A set of essays exploring the role of industry in NATO's Smart Defence concept

NATO is in the process of reforming and streamlining its structures and processes to improve its interface and engagement with industry. This is part of a wider strategy to protect the Alliance’s knowledge base and deliver more sustainable and interoperable capabilities in a period of uncertainty.

To explore the ways in which NATO, its member states and industry can work together to improve their relationship and the flow of information between them, the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), Allied Command Transformation (ACT) and NATO Defence Investment Division co-organised a workshop in London in March 2012. The workshop brought together more than fifty experts from NATO, its member states, the defence industry and think tanks to discuss industry’s role in supporting and implementing the Smart Defence Initiative. Participants recognised that industry had a critical role to play in driving forward Smart Defence, but that there had been little opportunity to discuss ways to engage industry, and that NATO had not yet articulated a clear business case for industry’s involvement.

RUSI subsequently invited five independent experts – Trevor Taylor, John Louth, Mike Maiden, Henrik Heidenkamp and Andrew D James – to consider further the findings of the workshop. The authors were asked to reflect on industry’s views of Smart Defence, and the potential ways in which NATO can become a ‘smarter customer’ and facilitator, better manage the information flow among stakeholders, and ultimately capture and institutionalise industry’s experience and expertise.

About the Editors

Dr Lisa Aronsson joined the Royal United Services Institute as Head of the Transatlantic Programme in October 2008.

Dr John Louth is Deputy Head of the Defence Industries and Society Programme.  

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