The NCI Agency's first Industry forum solely dedicated to the NATO Integrated Air and Missile Defence Capability (IAMD) programme kicked off on Monday 13 November 2017 at the NATO Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium
The event, hosted jointly by the Agency's Director of Air and Missile Defence Command and Control (AMDC2) Michael Stoltz and its Director of Acquisition (ACQ) Peter Scaruppe, gathered 108 Industry representatives from 57 companies and 16 NATO Member Nations.
The Forum was aimed at raising the private sector's awareness on the AMDC2 portfolio (encompassing Air Command and Control as well as Ballistic Missile Defence) and related upcoming business opportunities - currently estimated at over 700 million EUR for 2018 and the coming years.
Following an explicit mandate from the NATO Resource Committees, and within the framework of a holistic approach to the evolution AMDC2 effort moving forward, the Forum also aimed at soliciting Industry's inputs on how the programmes could be best transitioned from a single source of supply to an "environment where contract awards can be placed by fair competition on price and technical excellence" – in Mr Scaruppe's words – thereby leveraging on the wide range of expertise attracted.
Bilateral meetings held at the margins of the conference thus proved critical in providing insight into how such a move can be successfully made.
The Agency expects to have developed its competitive strategy, and then be able to present a roadmap for competition to the appropriate NATO funding and governance bodies, by the first quarter of 2018.
For this goal to be reached, and ultimately "deliver and maintain a resilient, and state-of-the-art air and missile defence system for the Alliance" (Kevin Scheid, NCI Agency General Manager) knowledge and experience sharing, as well as constant dialogue with Industry are key.
In an increasingly challenging environment, which sees NATO as a potential target 'at 360 degrees, at any time', and therefore requires a much faster reaction in terms of implementing new capabilities, "broadening the pool of brains which can help us in the endeavor" becomes crucial, explained Mr Stoltz, Director of AMDC2. Building on this, his final words fully captured the spirit of the Forum: "Our future can only be shaped together with you, and I hope that also your future will be shaped by what we can bring to the table."