The Department of the Defence and the Defence Forces today (25 November) hosted a high-level webinar for Irish security and defence enterprises, providing information on EU funding opportunities and engagement in cross-border European programmes and projects.
The event brought together a large number of Irish businesses, with information provided by the European Commission (DG DEFIS) and the European Defence Agency. In addition, three large European companies shared their experiences, illustrating the opportunities for Irish SMEs working on cross-border programmes with larger European enterprises.
The webinar, which was opened by the Minister for Defence, Simon Coveney TD also included contributions from the Secretary General of the Department of Defence, Jacqui McCrum, the chairman of the National Defence and Security Association, Pat O’Connor, the Secretary General of the Aerospace and Defence Industries Association of Europe, Jan Pie and the Chief of Staff of the Defence Forces, Lieutenant General Seán Clancy, who provided the closing remarks for the webinar.
In the course of his remarks, Minister Coveney emphasised the importance of developing a Research, Technology and Innovation capability within the Defence Organisation which he said “will enable 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.”
The Minister also recalled Ireland’s involvement with the European Defence Agency since 2004, noting that “Ireland’s participation in the European Defence Agency provides access to research and information on developing and maintaining professional capabilities and research that we cannot self-generate.”
In his contribution, Lieutenant General Clancy said “Defence is based on our people, our strategic investments, our dedication to the mission, and the public support we receive from the Irish people. We have a legacy of progress, but that in itself is not enough. That’s why we must accelerate our efforts together to build a safe and sustainable future.”
Given that the event had originally been arranged as in-person event, providing networking opportunities for Irish enterprises with EU institutions and other European companies, it is intended to organise a networking event as soon as circumstances allow in 2022.