Welcome to the NCI Agency's Small and Medium Enterprises portal!

This portal provides information on the NCI Agency's Small and Medium Enterprises' (SMEs) initiative and updates on activities and events that support engagement of SME in the Agency-wide projects.


"Small and Medium Enterprises bring creativity, agility and velocity in developing and delivering state- of - the art C4ISR capabilities. In our experience, Small and Medium Enterprises and startups are very responsive to new and emerging threats and are a hub for technology innovation. The portal is an important part of our Small and Medium Enterprises initiative and will help us harness the innovative talents and entrepreneurial energies of small businesses across the Alliance."

- General Manager


We are committed to maximising engagement of small and medium sized businesses in our projects and NCI Agency acquisitions. We are identifying the challenges Small and Medium Enterprises currently face in doing business with us and we are working to make our processes simpler, faster, more transparent and more accessible for SMEs.

- Director of Acquisition

Small and Medium Enterprises in NATO Context

NATO Allies increasingly recognise the value of and engage Small and Medium Enterprises as vital suppliers of required defence capabilities. 

The Wales Summit declaration underscores that

"NATO recognises the importance of inclusive, sustainable, innovative, and globally competitive defence industries, which include small and medium-sized enterprises, to develop and sustain national defence capabilities and the defence technological and industrial base in the whole of Europe and in North America."

Furthermore, the NATO Industry Cyber Partnership (NICP) endorsed by the Alliance leaders at Wales accentuates the need to promote the involvement of SMEs which can often provide innovative solutions in the cyberspace. 

While Small and Medium Enterprises are often the birthplace of innovation, competing for attention and contract awards in the NATO environment may be daunting for small businesses. On the one hand, this is linked to time and cost as they do not have resources to participate successfully in NATO acquisition processes or the financial clout to wait for a concept to become a programme or to sustain them during programme changes. On the other hand, SMEs face difficulties in gaining and accessing information on future capability requirements and business opportunities. 

Small and Medium Enterprises also often lack visibility both vis-à-vis NATO and large companies which results in repeated awards to existing suppliers, thus often limiting NATO access to innovative and cutting edge solutions.

NCI Agency Small and Medium Enterprises Engagement Strategy

The NCI Agency engages with industry to provide NATO-wide IT Services and to develop, deliver, connect and protect C4ISR capabilities, including cost competitive provision and maintenance of NATO common-funded capabilities for national purposes.

To best harness the potential of Small and Medium Enterprises and facilitate their participation in the NCI Agency business opportunities - bearing in mind the need to ensuring a fair chance for Small and Medium Enterprises to participate in the NCI Agency business opportunities, neither preferential treatment, nor discriminatory hurdles - the Agency has launched a three-fold strategy aiming at:


  • Making the NCI Agency acquisition as accessible as possible to Small and Medium Enterprises and its processes more transparent, simpler, and faster
  • Improving the NCI Agency's interface with SME through more direct engagement with Small and Medium Enterprises
  • Ensuring that NCI Agency acquisition strategies maximise the potential for Small and Medium Enterprises participation at subcontract level and encouraging prime contractors to make maximum use of Small and Medium Enterprises in their subcontract work.

To get involved please contact the Industry Relations Office at IndustryRelations@ncia.nato.int