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DEFEA Conference concluded with absolute success – Defea
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May 17

DEFEA Conference concluded with absolute success

With absolute success, the international conference DEFEA Conference – Current Strategies for a Challenging World concluded its sessions in the packed hall of the Lighthouse at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center.

Ministers, senior military and political officials, diplomats, academics, and representatives from the domestic and international defense industry were present, contributing to highlighting significant aspects of Security, Defense Technology, Industry, and Innovation. Broader geopolitical shifts necessitating new strategic initiatives by the European Union and NATO were also put on the table.

Lessons learned from the modern battlefield, emerging threats in both the physical and digital realms, space, and the new realities brought by technological advancements in defense and security were areas of concern and discussion at the DEFEA Conference – Current Strategies for a Challenging World.

The Greek Minister of Defense, Mr. Nikos Dendias, elaborated on the “Agenda 2030,” aimed at strengthening and modernizing the Greek Armed Forces, while he emphasized the government’s goal to increase the contribution of the domestic defense industry to the GDP. The Chief of the Hellenic National Defense General Staff, General Dimitrios Choupis, referring to the modern battlefield, pointed out that “the use of unmanned systems and counter-methods, along with multi-layered anti-aircraft and anti-ballistic defense, is a critical and dominant factor in gaining a strategic advantage.”

The role of EU in the Space realm was stressed by the Director General of DEFIS (Defence Industry and Space) of the European Commission, Ms. Aikaterini Kavvada. “Europe must take a leading role in space not only commercially but also in terms of defence” said the Director General of DEFIS, adding that the goal is not the militarization of space but the creation of collaborations in defense, security, and communications.

The President of SEKPY (Hellenic Manufacturers of Defence Materiel Association), Mr. Anastasios Rozolis, highlighted the dynamic development of the domestic defense industry,noting that “2023 was a promising year for the Greek defense industry, with Greek small and medium-sized enterprises playing a dominant role in the projects of the European Defence Fund (EDF)”. The domestic shipbuilding industry was the focus of the speech by the President of Skaramagas Shipyards and former Minister of Shipping, Mr. Miltiadis Varvitsiotis.

The remarks by the Head of DG DEFIS, Ms. Sylvia Kainz Huber, and Mr. Eleftherios Andreadis from the European Defence Agency were of particular interest, as were the interventions by National Security Advisor, Mr. Thanos Dokos, Major General Ioannis Bouras (HNDGS), Deputy Director General of GDDIA (General Directorate for Defence Investments and Armaments), retired Lieutenant General Mr. Misael Papadakis, Vice President and Sales Director Europe of Airbus Defense and Space Mr. Jose Luis de Miguel Cortes, and Executive Vice President of the Hellenic Development Bank Mr. Pantelis Tzortzakis.

The DEFEA Conference – Current Strategies for a Challenging World focused on Research and Technology with a roundtable discussion on “Innovation Ecosystem, Technology Transfer, and Collaborative Initiatives as Pillars for the Development of the Defense Industry.” Participants included Brigadier General Nicolas Cordier-Lallouet, Deputy Director of the French Defense Innovation Agency, Mr. A.S. (Fons) van der Ham, Deputy Director and Programme Manager for International Innovation of the Dutch Ministry of Defense Research and Development, Mr. Alexandros Chatzigeorgiou, Vice Rector for Outreach and International Relations at the University of Macedonia and head of the DefenseEduNet Cluster, along with representatives from the Israeli Directorate of Defense Research and Development.

Interesting perspectives were recorded in the discussion on Defense Technology and Innovation, titled “Innovative Developments in Defense Technology – Opportunities and Prospects in Utilizing Emerging Technologies.” Participants included Mr. Vasilis Theodosiopoulos, Defense and Security Manager ASD, Mr. Peter Huis in ‘t Veld, Senior Business Development Manager – Deputy Director International Affairs of the Netherlands Industries for Defense and Security, and Mr. George Giannopoulos, Deputy Director of Directorate E, Joint Research Centre of the European Commission.

The conference concluded with a discussion on the Defense Industry titled “Initiatives to Enhance Defense Procurement Processes, Ally Cooperation, and Efficient Resource Allocation and Utilization.” Participants included Mr. Giuseppe Cossiga, President of AIAD – Federation of Italian Companies for Aerospace, Defence and Security, Mr. Jörg Sorg, Senior Vice President International Sales, Diehl Defence, BDSV – German Security and Defence Industry, Mr. Jean-Marie Dumon, Deputy Director Head of Defence and Security at GICAN, French Maritime Industry Association, and Mr. Anastasios Rozolis, President of SEKPY.

We renew our appointment for DEFEA – Defence Exhibition Athens from May 6-8, 2025.