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The defence sector is unusualIy heavily dependent on research and development in the search for ways of countering current and expected threats.  It is composed of a small number of large international players and a vast number of smaller suppliers.  It sells primarily to governments, and is hence dependent on nations’ defence expenditures.  Meanwhile, geopolitics impose constraints on defence exports.

The European defence industry is currently at an important juncture in its history.  Its fragmented state reflects nations’ traditional policies of awarding contracts to their own suppliers.  The 2009 EU Defence Package - the Defence Procurement Directive and a Directive on Intra-community Transfers - aims to create a more open and more integrated European defence market.

In times of tightening government budgets it is important to understand how such markets operate, and how the adoption of the Defence Package into law has the potential to generate significant structural changes within the European defence sector.

Types of Study

Our experts in this area have a background in working for national defence ministries.  Our recent work includes:

  • a study on the likely consequences of the Defence Package (as drafted in 2008);
  • a report on the role of SMEs in the European defence sector, identifying ways in which their international competitiveness could be improved;
  • a study on how the innovative potential of SMEs could be better engaged in defence.

Our Clients

Our clients to date have been primarily public sector policy-making organisations.  They have included the European Commission, the European Defence Agency and the European Parliament.

Our Experts

Our team in this field includes:  Iona McCall and Nicholas Owen.

Primary contact: Iona McCall.