The defence industry’s annual forum focuses on innovation and export opportunities for Estonian defence industry companies

Today, the annual Estonian Defence and Security Industry Forum is taking place in Tallinn, with Estonia’s leading defence industry companies and their local as well as international partners to discuss the topics of export, product development and innovation opportunities in Estonia’s defence and security industry.

According to the CEO of the Estonian Defence and Security Industry Association Ingvar Pärnamäe, new opportunities have been created for the defence and security industry in 2016 that have resulted in a significant step forward for the sector. “Estonian defence industry companies have taken a remarkable developmental leap this year, in innovative product development as well as in using export opportunities, thus creating high added value for the Estonian, as well as the European, economy and security,” Pärnamäe said.

In Pärnamäe’s words, Estonian defence industry companies have been able to prove themselves to a number of important foreign partners, becoming a reliable defence industry partner for European, Middle Eastern and American companies and at the same time contributing to the security, economy and employment rates of their home country. “The annual forum presents an opportunity to get an overview of the achievements of our defence and security industry companies and to join the discussion on how to put our present experience and the sector’s resources to work so that we could achieve even more for our companies and for Estonia through product development, export and international partnerships,” highlighted Pärnamäe.

The forum’s speakers and discussion participants include the Chairman of the National Defence Committee Hannes Hanso, Secretary General of the Ministry of Defence Jonatan Vseviov, Director General of the External Economic and Development Cooperation Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Jüri Seilenthal, Director of the Economic Development Department of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications Kaupo Reede, Chairman of the Board of the Estonian Defense Industry Association Kuldar Väärsi, and Estonian Defence and Security Industry Innovation Cluster companies. A number of foreign guests are also participating in the forum – Deputy Secretary General of the Swedish Security & Defence Industry Association Niklas Alm, and the Senior Vice President of one of the largest European defence industry companies MBDA Didier Philippe, as well as others.

The 2016 Defence Industry Company of the Year will also be announced at the annual Estonian Defence and Security Industry Forum. The award will be presented by Minister of Defence, Margus Tsahkna. Previously, the Defence Industry Company of the Year has been awarded to Baltic Workboats (2013), Cybernetica (2014) and Defendec (2015).

The annual Estonian Defence and Security Industry Forum starts at 09:00 on December 1 in the SpaceX centre of Ülemiste City at Keevise 6, Tallinn.

The Estonian Defence and Security Industry Innovation Cluster is a cross-sector network aiming to develop the exporting capacity of Estonian defence and security industry companies. The cluster is comprised of Estonian companies providing defence and security industry products and services with a main focus on internationalisation and joint marketing. Activities of the cluster are supported by the European Regional Development Fund.