Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) are considered as the backbone of the EU economy in terms of jobs creation, growth and innovation. The European defence sector is dominated by Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and Prime contractors (Primes), but the vast majority of the players are SMEs. A number of SMEs remain specialized in defence related activities or in “niche” competencies and are consequently particularly dependant on military business opportunities. SMEs play a significant role in the Modelling & Simulation since this area is in permanent technological evolution and their structure enables them to drive innovations and/or fulfil the needs without delay.
- To support defence-related SMEs to more easily access the M&S market and supply chain and share some good practices/open products more quickly in EU Defence environment.
This M&S SME Platform is open to EU SMEs’ developing R&T M&S products(software, hardware) and having industrial facility in EDA participating Member States.
The main services that EDA can provide to the M&S SME platform are:
- Access to procurement– to supportSMEs working in the M&S domain to obtain better market awareness and improve access to relevant information on business opportunities in a systematic and structured way. EDA serves as a facilitator, but cannot guarantee contracts or other business opportunities.
- Access to supply chain- to guide SMEs in finding their clients in the M&S sector and accessing defence supply chains, particularly those where the Prime or OEM is based in a different country, and support interaction with other relevant partners (e.g. academia, RTOs, laboratories).
- Support to innovation– to provide guidance and tips on how SMEs can identify R&T opportunities and potential partners for cooperative R&T projects in M&S domain.
- Access to best practices and technological exchangescould also be provided through specific Simulation CapTech workshops, EDSTAR group and any ad-hoc database.
The examples of the specific services that EDA can provide in the Platform are:
- Single EDA Point of Contact for answering practical questions to participating SMEs.
- Thematic workshops (“From best practices to standard”) with VTC/Lync connection in the ES3M Captech framework .
- EU Defence standardization EDSTAR / EG25 workshops (identification of the standards used in EU Member States, identification of best practices and future needs, collecting the work of national groups).
- Awareness on Market Opportunities on regular basis (monthly if possible) - EDA could facilitate the interaction between Primes and participatingSMEs on potential future business opportunities.
- Dedicated web-based workspace on EDA Collaboration Platform (ECP). EDA will provide guidance to the participating SMEs on the registration and use of this workspace.
- Networking with other interested M&S stakeholders (e.g. Primes/OEM, academia, RTOs, laboratories).
These services are intended to complement other existing EDA policies and tools directed towards better facilitating SME access to the defence market and ensuring transparency and competition in the defence market.