Defence and security technology in the US
The project is part of Innovation Norway’s High Potential Opportunities (HPO) programme for major export initiatives. The aim is to position Norwegian suppliers in the US defence and security industry market.
No country spends more on defence and security technology than the US. The US is without a doubt the most important market for Norwegian enterprises that develop technology and products for this industry. Gaining a foothold in this market is a long and often costly process. Innovation Norway and the Norwegian Defence Research Institute’s joint innovation programme, ‘Hacking 4 Allies’, is working to reduce the time it takes to sign a contract from seven to ten years to two to three years. This is crucial for the success of small and medium-sized enterprises.
In 2019, the defence industry’s turnover amounted to NOK 17.7 billion. Of this, NOK 5.4 billion was the turnover generated by small and medium-sized enterprises, and NOK 5.4 billion was direct exports.
One important condition is that the technology developed must also have a civilian market – this is a so-called ‘dual use’ approach. The defence and security technology export programme focuses on attracting investors who help develop the technology, as well as finding relevant buyers within the US Military and its partners.
Compared with many of our allied nations, Norway’s defence industry base is highly niche-oriented and thus specialised. This is a direct result of the Norwegian government’s focus on certain technological areas of expertise over a long period of time, that in turn match the strategic requirements of the Norwegian Armed Forces. White paper to Stortinget (Parlament) No.17, 2020-2021, points out that this specialisation has provided the Norwegian defence and security industry with a competitive advantage in international markets in areas such as missile technology, anti-aircraft systems, ammunition, underwater technology, autonomous and unmanned vehicles, command, control and communication systems, and encryption. The Norwegian defence industry mainly supplies what are considered complementary systems, subsystems and components to many US suppliers, and therefore often avoids competitive situations with their US partners.
HPO projects bring together Norway’s entire business support system and other members of Team Norway. Norwegian enterprises receive help from Innovation Norway’s regional and international offices, embassies, Export Finance Norway, NORWEP, chambers of commerce and other partners as needed. Team Norway contributes through a bespoke package of services based on the opportunities in the market and business needs. The activities range from political dialogue, financing, networking and marketing to advice for individual enterprises in the market.
The contributors to this HPO project include:
- Norwegian Embassy in Washington
- Norwegian-American Defence Industry Council (NADIC)
- Norwegian Defence Research Institute (FFI) (equal programme partner to Innovation Norway)
- Innovation Norway’s offices in Washington and Palo Alto
- Innovation Norway’s head office in Norway
- Innovation Norway’s regional offices in Norway, including financial advisers
- Norwegian Ministry of Defence
- FSi – the Norwegian Defence and Security Industry Directory
The project manager is Einar.Irgens.Gustafson@innovasjonnorge.no, +1 202 460 5097