european network of
defence-related regions


14th Endr Newsletter - 22 October 2019

ENDR Newsletter - October 2019


Exploring Europe’s defence sector needs during Raw Materials Week


On 20 November 2019, you will have the chance to hear more about the supply of raw materials to Europe’s strategic sectors, particularly in defence, at the 7th Annual High-Level Conference of the European Innovation Partnership.


This conference will be part of the EU Raw Materials Week, which will take place from Monday 18 to Friday 22 November, in Brussels. The conference will feature a session on ‘Raw materials for strategic sectors’.


During this session a new report, which looks into material dependencies for areas relevant to Europe’s defence industry, will be highlighted. Put forth by the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre, the study examines five dual-use technology areas: advanced batteries, fuel cells, robotics, unmanned vehicles and 3D printing. It reveals supply risks, in particular, for a number of critical raw materials, such as cobalt and rare earth elements, and outlines a range of policy recommendations.


The report will shortly be made available here.



ENDR Conference ‘Defence Skills and Dual-use Technologies’, 14-15 November 2019, Caserta

Skills are crucial for successful cross-border collaborative projects, particularly in the framework of the European Defence Fund. This event will feature an entire workshop dedicated to exploring possible cooperation in line with the 2020 work programme of the European Defence Industrial Development Programme.


Companies, clusters, authorities and academia will also have the opportunity to discuss actions in support of skills for the defence industry, and how the European Structural and Investment Funds could contribute to this.


This conference, organised by the European Commission and ENDR member DAC, will be held in Caserta (Italy).


To see the programme and register, click here.


From developing games to battlefield simulation programmes


On 18-19 September 2019, Kajaani (Finland) hosted the successful ENDR conference on ‘Innovative Defence Technologies for the Virtual Battlefield’. The region is home to various innovative companies that have something to offer in this field, not least small companies that deliver advanced games.

The event attracted almost 150 participants, from 16 European countries: companies of all sizes, public authorities, research institutes, universities and regional development agencies. On the first day, participants had the chance to learn more about the opportunities offered by the European Defence Fund, and other programmes that can support the development of defence technologies in the area of communications, simulation & modelling and virtual training.

On the second day, participants could get a first-hand experience of what battlefield simulations and related technologies can offer for the Armed Forces during a field trip at the Kainuu Brigade Headquarters.

In parallel, the Enterprise Europe Network facilitated up to 70 B2B meetings. On both days, companies and Finnish Armed Forces provided on-site technology demonstrations.



A growing European ecosystem for defence skills

On 10-11 October 2019, Aerocampus Aquitaine hosted the successful European Defence Skills Partnership (EDSP) conference on ‘Fostering Skills for Europe’s Defence Industries’. The event welcomed more than 100 participants to its premises near Bordeaux (France). Attendees, including EDSP members, came from 14 European countries, representing companies of all sizes, public authorities, research institutes, universities, vocational training organisations and regional development agencies.

Participants learned about various best practices. Vocational and educational organisations and companies work closely together to develop employees in various ways through hands-on training, internships and partnerships with armed forces. Against a background of fierce competition with other sectors, defence companies are running different initiatives to attract young talents and render their working environment more attractive to women. Furthermore, universities apply innovative approaches to overcome challenges to feeding the industry with the right competences, whilst trying to cater to defence-specific issues. During the interactive sessions, calls were made for more harmonisation at EU level in the area of certification recognition and accreditation.

In a dedicated session, various initiatives and opportunities for more cooperation were highlighted. These included the launch of a new project on defence skills, which is co-funded under Erasmus+ and will bring together 32 EDSP members and their associates as of January 2020, as well as a new call expected to be published end of October. The latter includes actions relevant for the defence sector such as Knowledge Alliances, Sector Skills Alliances, Strategic Partnerships, Centres of Vocational Excellence and European Universities.


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