Goods and technologies used for both civil and military purposes (dual-use) offer fantastic opportunities for SMEs.
This edition of Business Planet looks at how to set up a project, networks and EU funding.
Dual-use products, services and technologies cover a wide range of areas, such as electronics, navigation or aeronautics.
Mobile phones, the internet, GPS navigation and microwave ovens have their origins in military research. This trend has been reversed: products developed for civilians are now used for military purposes.
Euronews spoke with Klaus Bolving,
CEO, Center for Defence, Space and Security about opportunities for European SMEs in dual-use technology.
Dual-use is a new business model in Europe that inspires entrepreneurs and SMEs to develop their businesses both in civilian and defense and security sector,” said Bolving.
Danish company Ohmatex has created the world’s thinnest micro USB cable and produces textile-based sensors, as company CEO Klaus Østergaard explained.
“This technology, which is using in space agency programme, in the astronauts trousers, is also use for measuring the edema around preeclampsia for pregnant women.”
Designing textile-based sensors to collect information has attracted the giants of the sport sector, computer and digital.
Another potential market: the military.
“As an example, the Danish military is currently looking for a 20 percent reduction of the overall soldiers weight on the equipment,” explained Østergaard. “Flexible textile cable like this, that can be directly incorporated in the uniform that’s a great solution for achieving such a goal.”
Østergaard is optimistic. His company has recruited new engineers. He hopes dual-use products will allow it to earn a kind of quality seal recognized in the market.
“Bringing this textile cable into a military application would be a fantastic validation of the durability and robustness of such cables,” Østergaard told Euronews.
EU funding for dual-use projects
There is specific EU funding for this kind of project.
There’s an online guide with detailed information, including the specific dual-use projects that are eligible for EU funding.
Klaus told Euronews how he supports entrepreneurs involved in this kind of projects.
“We work hand-in-hand with SMEs and entrepreneurs with ambitions within dual use business,” he said. “We are the largest organization in Denmark doing this. But, there are a lot of other organisation, clusters and networks doing exactly the same all over Europe. Contact us!”
Dual-use projects can also benefit from EU funding though EU instruments such as COSME, Horizon 2020, and the European Structural and Investment Funds.