151019nif 400LISBON, Portugal – High-level representatives from NATO, nations and industry gathered for the 2015 NATO-Industry Forum (NIF) in Lisbon, October 20, 2015.

The NIF serves as a platform to strengthen strategic dialogue between key actors involved in the military capability development process. The forum focused on ways industry can stimulate national investments, improving support to NATO’s capability development, as well as reasons why industry, nations and NATO should work closely together in support of common ambitions.

“Defence-related projects and defence industries play an important role in defending our societies and our way of life, in encouraging scientific research and development, in creating highly qualified jobs, in creating revenues. It should be clear to everyone that defense economy is a positive part of the economy as whole,” said Portuguese Minister of Defence, Mr. José Pedro Aguiar-Branco during his opening remarks.

Centred around how industry can support the Alliances’ objectives, the forum featured three panel sessions where senior leaders from NATO, industry, nations, government and international organizations could collaborate on ways to build investment opportunities, strengthen cooperation and sustain future initiatives.

NATO Deputy Secretary General, Ambassador Alexander Vershbow also spoke at the forum. “Our world has rarely been more chaotic or unpredictable, certainly not in our lifetime, but the nations of the NATO Alliance remain a beacon of stability. For this to continue we must always ensure that we have the right level of investment, the right capabilities and the right partnerships with countries around the world, with other international organizations and as importantly with industry” he said while addressing the more than 300 attendees.

NATO Supreme Allied Commander Transformation General Denis Mercier co-organized the event along with NATO Assistant Secretary General for Defence Investment Mr. Patrick Auroy.

“NATO’s capacity will not be developed and built in isolation by those wearing uniforms, but together, through a sustained exchange and collaboration with Industry. That is why, we must enhance our reciprocal relationships.” said General Mercier during his remarks.

Building off themes from last year’s industry forum, derived from the Wales summit, the 2015 NIF is an important milestone on the road to the Warsaw Summit scheduled for July 8-9, 2016. The effects of this work will be demonstrated during Exercise Trident Juncture 2015, highlighting the importance of readiness and interoperability with all NATO partners.

NATO-Industry Forum is an annual event sponsored by NATO Secretary General.

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