Defense industry experts at HxGN LIVE agree: Cooperation is key for NATO contractors
5 July 2023
July 5, 2023
Hexagon’s Safety, Infrastructure & Geospatial division hosted a panel of defense industry experts at HxGN LIVE Global 2023, Hexagon’s annual digital solutions event in Las Vegas. A common theme from the discussion was how cooperation among industry, academia and military is key to NATO’s tasks of deterrence and defense in Europe.
According to Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Erich Staudacher, general manager of AFCEA, Europe, joint exercises conducted by NATO’s Allied Command Transformation (ACT) drive cooperation among stakeholders and demonstrate the need for defense systems – and defense contractors – to work in concert with each other. He said, “Interoperability is at the core of these exercises.”
Staudacher was joined on the panel by Dr. Uwe Jasnoch, head of EMEA Government, Transportation and Defense for Hexagon’s Safety, Infrastructure & Geospatial division, and Krzysztof Jungowski, co-founder of Polish software company Exence, S.A.
The discussion highlighted the military exercises put on by ACT and the opportunity they provide companies to showcase how their innovations work and how well they work together with partners. For example, the recent Air Defender exercise in Germany involved 30 countries and multiple contractors in the largest air exercise in a nation’s history.
Jungowski stated, “This may be the way, the space, where we can cooperate, and we can exchange thoughts.”
The panelists believe NATO, industry, academia and organizations like AFCEA must work together to foster continual cooperation, so forces are always in a “ready” posture. This collaboration is a must if goals are to be achieved.
“It is possible via conferences, big and small, on a national level, on even a local level or international level. Participants from all sides - government, industry and academia - work on white papers, develop new ideas, support forward leadership,” said Staudacher. “This is a constant push to exchange on a very neutral basis. It is an exchange of thoughts and a conversation long before any contractual work starts.”
“In the end, the challenges we are facing are really complex, so it’s virtually impossible that one organization can solve it alone,” said Dr. Jasnoch.
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