Nato to invest €3bn in defence technology until 2019
The Nato Communication and Information (NCI) Agency is planning to invest €3bn in defence technology until 2019.
This is the first time since 2009 that defence expenditures have been increased.
The planned investments are expected to bolster Nato's cyber and air defence, satellite communications and response forces, as well as command and control for complex multinational operations.
The agency will award contracts for the procurement of cyber, air and missile defence systems, as well as advanced software products.
NCI Agency general manager Koen Gijsbers said: "The ingenuity and creativity of our private sector has always been a source of strength for Nato. We, as an Alliance, have been able to maintain our technological edge over our adversaries for 67 years because the innovative capacity of our private sector is unparalleled.
“Today's technological change is driven by Industry and as Nato we are engaging Industry early on to ensure we tap into that creativity. Nato will only be resilient if we embrace and can do continuous, rapid innovation."
Potential bidders are already being invited, with the first contracts already put out for tender and more to come later in 2016.
NCI plans to procure advanced software, strengthen Nato's air defences, and award a €1.5bn contract for satellite communications.
Gijsbers further added: "The contracts we're announcing focus on one of the core tasks of the Alliance, to connect and link national forces and capabilities into a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts.
"By linking and connecting individual national capabilities Nato can do more that individual countries could do themselves."