Tonin discusses innovation in defence at EDA conference

Ljubljana – Defence Minister Matej Tonin took part on Tuesday in the 2021 annual conference of the European Defence Agency (EDA), which focused on innovation in the field of defence. Tonin highlighted the role of defence innovation for the development of strategic and technological sovereignty, said the Defence Ministry.

Speaking at a panel titled Defence Innovation: A Strategic Imperative for the EU?, the minister noted the rapid pace of technological development, saying that new areas such as cybernetics and artificial intelligence were blurring the lines between civil and defence spheres.

The formation of a European defence, technological and industrial base is necessary for strategic autonomy and credibility within the common security and defence policy, he added.

Tonin, who addressed the panel via video link, also highlighted the role of small and medium-sized companies, saying they can be the driving force of progress in innovation.

“Small and medium-sized businesses are important because they can quickly adapt to new innovative ideas,” he said, adding that successful cooperation with the civil sphere did not only have a positive impact on defence but also on the economy, a press release by the ministry reads.

The EDA was set up in 2004 to promote cooperation, come up with initiatives and introduce solutions to improve defence capabilities. All EU countries, except Denmark, are members of the agency.