NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg General underscored the defence spending increases undertaken by NATO Allies since 2014. "In total over the last seven years, this has added 260 billion extra dollars for defence; and that really shapes the market, you, as industry are operating in; then you the industry, the private sector, the defence industry, you nurture innovation; with the extra money, you maintain and upgrade our existing capabilities; and you develop and manufacture new ones; this is crucial to ensure we keep our technological edge, and to protect our citizens; so it is in our shared interest to work very closely together," he emphasized.
"NATO is operating from a position of strength," Admiral Rob Bauer, Chair of NATO's Military Committee pointed out. "NATO nations have Academic Excellence; the top 20 universities in the world are all on the soil of Allies; this supports industrial excellence; innovation and creativity do not reside solely in industry; each player has a unique role to play; but NATO needs to embrace these innovators, be it in academia or industry," he also said.
"We face an uncertain future – but we face it together," General Philippe Lavigne, Supreme Allied Commander for Transformation said. "My message to my NATO's colleagues is, therefore: Let's be bold enough to embrace innovation, smart enough to grow our agility, and open enough to learn from Allies' industries; we can win by working together - as a team, and I am excited about that shared future," he added.
During NATO-Industry Forum, industry leaders had the opportunity to contribute to the debate on the development of the new NATO Strategic Concept, which will be approved at the 2022 Summit in Madrid.