Support of Dutch industry is indispensable for Ministry of Defence

“The Ministry of Defence needs the industry, research institutes and entrepreneurs more than ever”. That is what Ank Bijleveld-Schouten (Minister of Defence) said at the VNO-NCW conference on the defence white paper in The Hague yesterday. This is a positive message with which the armed forces ánd the industry can move forward. Room for innovation, room for Dutch knowledge and ‘industrial strengths’, also, and in particular, for the shipbuilding industry.

The minister is glad that the budget for the Ministry of Defence has been increased. This means that the armed forces can invest in new technologies such as artificial intelligence, robotics, 3D-printing and bio- and nanotechnology. According to Bijleveld, of great importance to anticipate the future.

Unique values

“You have experience and the most recent knowledge at disposal”, the minister said to her audience. With this she also mentioned the groundbreaking products and services that meet up to the standards and challenges of the armed forces. Therefore, she thinks the public-private ecosystem is very important. Here the different stakeholders; government, industry and knowledge institutes each contribute with their own unique added value.

Shared employership

In the defence white paper the minister announces that the organization actively seeks for more collaboration with industry and institutions. Above all, the adaptive armed forces focusses on shared employership. “We must only activate people in emergency situations or moments of increased urgency”.

For example, this way the armed forces can call on doctors and nurses at any moment. In return, the ministry of defense will pay hospitals a fixed rate. Another example can be found in the cooperation with the civil company Airborne at airbase Woensdrecht. The maintenance and reparations of helicopters’ rotor blades are performed here.

Creativity and courage

Bijleveld: “Working towards strong armed forces is in our best interest. Then let us make sure that supply and demand can find each other. By gathering state-of-the art knowledge, insights and applications and make room for experiments, creativity and courage.”

Renewed covenant

The importance of good cooperation for the execution of the measures that are mentioned in the defence white paper has been underlined. The Ministry of Defence and the industry signed a renewed covenant for this purpose. VNO-NCW-president Hans de Boer: “Whether it is about lending staff/materiel, more reservists or the development of new innovative products, there is still a lot to win in the coming years.”

Link to the original article of the Ministry of Defence:

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Minister Bijleveld-Schouten addresses the audience at the VNO-NCW conference
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