The Department of the Defence and the Defence Forces today (06 October) hosted an information and networking event at the Aviva Stadium. The event provided opportunities for Irish Industry and research institutions interested in collaborating on security, defence and dual use technology projects.
Today’s event brought together a large number of Irish Industries and Academia, with information provided by the European Commission (DG DEFIS), The Association of Finnish Defence and Aerospace Industries, the Irish Defence and Security Association. Also in attendance were a selection of large European companies that made presentations and joined thematic panel discussion with Irish SME’s and discussed their experiences, illustrating the opportunities on cross-border programmes with larger European enterprises.
The event which was opened by the Secretary General of the Department of Defence, Jacqui McCrum also included a keynote address by the Minister for Defence, Simon Coveney TD and Chief of Staff of the Defence Forces, Lieutenant General Seán Clancy, who provided the closing remarks for the event.
In the course of her welcoming address, Ms McCrum welcomed the importance of networking opportunities for SMEs. She emphasised the importance of developing a Research, Technology and Innovation capability within the Defence Organisation which she said:
“enables greater engagement with academia and enterprise to develop and exploit emerging and disruptive technology developments to support defence capabilities, while also supporting wider access and market engagement for Irish research by academia and enterprise.”
Minister Coveney in his keynote address recalled Ireland’s involvement with the European institutions, and noted that
“Although Ireland does not have a defence industry like other European member states, and it is unlikely that we will ever have one, we do have industry and researchers who are working on individual projects or collaborating in security, defence and dual use technologies. These industries and research projects create high-level employment across Ireland and export cutting edge technology around the world.”
In his contribution, Lieutenant General Clancy said
“Throughout the day we have been surrounded by diverse discussion, curiosity, and problem solving. This growth mind-set enables Ireland and in particular Defence to offer strong opportunities for collaboration as we focus on innovative solutions to the challenges we face into an uncertain future.