European Commission’s planning and response to COVID-19 recovery

European Commission’s planning and response to Covid-19 recovery

2020-07-10

As part of the European Commission’s planning and response to Covid-19 recovery, Director-General for Defence Industry and Space, Timo Pesonen has organised a series of workshops to better understand the impact of the pandemic on European Aerospace and the Defence eco-system.  Along with many representatives from European companies, research institutes and academia, 4C Strategies Founder and Chairman, Andreas Hedskog, participated in the first of these workshops.  Following the workshop, he had the following reflections:

“Undoubtedly, in the long term, there will be an increase in requirement on readiness and crisis management capabilities; however, there is a significant risk of short and medium term financial constraints as a result of COVID-19 which will limit the necessary R&D investments which are needed now.  This will be more acute for small and medium sized enterprises who traditionally have limited access to Government and EU R&D support.  This will be further compounded by travel restrictions creating difficulties to form large cross-border consortiums that are more often promoted through current defence capability financial instruments within the EU. Additionally, the promotion of large scale cooperation already comes at the expense of innovation as SMEs are often forced to play a smaller role in the supply chain of large defence contractors, accepting the terms and conditions of the big corporates.”

Andreas Hedskog, Founder & Chairman at 4C Strategies

“Therefore, our message to the European Commission is to request that there are R&D calls for consortia formed solely by SMEs – this would ensure that the innovative and competitive power of the SME community would directly provide the best value to European tax payers, especially in the realms of Defence, where the market has huge barriers to entry and scale already at the outset.”

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