The study was conducted in January and February 2022, i.e. before the start of the war in Ukraine. It reveals that the SME sector is critical of the degree of access it is given to projects for the Ministry of Defence. As a group, they are also not happy about the volume of ‘red tape’ involved and would like to see a more pro-active approach from the government.
Some 55% of the organisations are expecting growth. This forecast is strongest among Original Equipment Manufacturers and businesses active in the maritime sector.
The current geopolitical tensions have made the study more topical than ever. The defence and security sector is generally knowledge-intensive in terms of its R&D, and exports a great deal. The companies also indicated that the dividing line between civil and military applications is becoming increasingly blurred due to the use of dual-use products and IT cyber domains.
The Defence Industry Strategy (DIS) states that the Netherlands’ defence industry will be strengthened, protected and must be internationally positioned. To achieve this the Ministry of Defence wants the best product at the best price and optimal involvement of Dutch companies.
The study conducted by Berenschot showed that the DIS has still not been fully turned into detailed policy or implementation measures. The Dutch commercial sector mainly needs incentive measures to invest in highly advanced new products and technologies. The businesses surveyed consider that the government could make an important contribution to the digital transition and help to improve their competitive position on the relevant markets.
Berenschot carried out a study at the request of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate (EZK) on the extent and make-up of the Netherlands Defence Technological and Industrial Base (NLDTIB). Altogether 180 companies took part in the study that was carried out in January and February 2022. In the context of the study 20 interviews were also conducted with organisations active in the Dutch defence and security sector.