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Global Big Data Defence Summit 2017
Global Big Data Defence Summit 2017 25/05/2017
How do EDA members work with the defence industry?

The EDA’s Project Officer Information Technologies Dr. Ignacio Montiel-Sánchez shares some insights on the inner workings of the EDA, as well as how the defence sector is evolving

1. What are the most crucial topics concerning military data?

As in several domains nowadays, the overload of military data is a constant concern as the proper information has to be extracted from that overwhelming ocean of data and delivered efficiently to the desired forces at the precise moment. But it is equally important to protect that information not to be available to any others. The spread use of Commercial off the Shelf (COTS) products has shown the huge vulnerabilities of IT products, as recent episodes have shown at a worldwide scale. Cyber protection is thus a factor, as essential as the timely delivery of the proper information to data users and decision makers. Questions such as how to improve the management, availability, usefulness and quality of information as well as the information labelling, procedures, practices and security policies have to be correctly addressed; the proper management of the acquisition of data and transmission for systems that support situational awareness and command and control (C2) is an essential part of the game.

The acquisition and life-cycle management community is obliged to work to improve cybersecurity throughout the life cycle of weapon systems containing information technology that may be vulnerable to cyberattacks or hostile intelligence exploitation. Consequently, steps are needed to take in order to improve the security of these systems throughout their life cycles. Some common private sector practices for cyber workforce management and organizational issues are applicable to improve the management of cyber forces. Issues associated with sharing information and the role of policies and practices associated with such sharing are a main focus of attention.

2. Industrial Cooperation: How do you work together with member states and the defence industry?

Since the start in 2004, one of the main objectives of the EDA has always been to ensure that Europe has at its disposal a competitive, cost-effective and proficient defence industry, supporting the need to generate cutting-edge capabilities. A healthy industry is a key prerequisite for innovation and state-of-the-art capability development. This entails several initiatives like developing more systematically civil-military synergies, increasing defence-related R&T in cooperation, designing support measures for SMEs for an improved integration in the Supply Chain, progressing on harmonized certification and standardization procedures and looking into Security of Supply issues.

The EDA is also facilitating the cooperation between the Ministries of Defence and the European Commission, especially in the field of R&T, where important EU funded research initiatives like the Pilot Project and the Preparatory Action on Defence Research are starting and running under our realm. The joint collaboration on capability programmes like Governmental Satellite Communication (GovSATCOM), Cyber Defence or RPAS, are typical examples of challenging undertakings under the EDA framework in the development of military capabilities.

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