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Land, sea, air, space, cyber, Defence Cluster Ireland

In IDSA, our members are SMEs, research institutions and international primes operating in Ireland who are from EU, Schengen or NATO/PfP nations. Ireland has a tradition Government Policy of Military Neutrality, meaning we are not part of any mutual defence alliance. However, exports in Dual Use and Defence Technologies and Services amounted to €2.4bn in 2019. By comparison, there was €2.3bn worth of beef exports from Ireland that year.

We are the industry association representing defence in Ireland, and the formal point of contact for government and DoD. As such we are in weekly contact with Department of Defence units, including but not limited to the Research, Technology and Innovation Unit and the Capability Development Office of the Department and Forces.

On his recent visit to Ireland, we met the CEO of EDA, and would have regular interaction with key national and international stakeholders on behalf of the defence industry and research community in Ireland. Following this meeting, we also met in Dublin with the Head of Policy for the EDA and discussed the Defence Sector in Ireland and ways that IDSA can assist those companies who trade in this sector.

We are in the process of applying to be the Irish member of ASD. As the Irish Defence Sector is relatively small in comparison to other markets and States, IDSA will be applying to be the Irish National Representative of ASD in order to better represent not only our current members at home and abroad, but also companies and Institutions who are not yet our Members.

We are currently exploring cluster models so that we can create synergies in Ireland, which is a small European nation with an even smaller defence industry. Probably uniquely in the EU, Ireland does not require offsets as part of any Defence contracts, meaning Irish companies are generally not part of any large contracts awarded by the Department of Defence. We hope this will change through our efforts of engagement with various Government Departments. Ireland is investing several billion Euro in our Defence Forces over the next number of years both in equipment and personnel. It is hoped, with a change of Government Policy, Irish Companies would be part of this investment as either Primes or sub-contractors to Primes. The cluster model would allow IDSA to assist in job creation in the Defence Sector on foot of this investment where the goods and services may not currently exist.

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