The first breakfast session of the SecDef Forum
took place on 20th November 2018 with an audience of some 40 representatives from European institutions (Commission, Parliament, Council, EDA), Member States (France, Belgium, Italy, Netherlands, Germany, Greece), NATO and industry.
Axel Dyèvre, CEIS Managing Partner, presented CEIS’s experience in developing the concept of a lab dedicated to detecting civilian innovation relevant to the Armed Forces and running it for the French Defense procurement and technology agency since 2013, bringing in startups and SMEs. In 6 years of operation, the CEIS team organised 120 activities welcomed 5,000 participants and presenting 160 companies. 30% of them went on to be contracted as a result.
The « DGA Lab method » brings civilian innovation to the MoD, bridging the gap between operational Armed Forces’ operational requirements and existing technological solutions, and facilitates a quick adoption of solutions. It can easily be replicated in other fields, such as civil security, and in others countries. The results highlight the relevance of the method and of the solutions selected by the CEIS team.
The presentation was followed by a discussion on the length of armed forces’ acquisition cycles, in direct opposition to those of the innovation ecosystem, and on the need to stimulate innovation in Europe. The financing of disruptive technologies by the European Defence Fund was brought up, as was the need to create a community to include new actors.