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Policy and research in security

Other industrial policy ideas

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DG Enterprise and Industry is consulting with the 27 Member States to assess how industrial policy might be used in other areas to support both the demand and supply side for civil security capabilities.

One idea – with large potential impact – would be to align the technology preferences of end-users. Here the notion of “pre-commercial procurement” comes into the picture. It means that public authorities would act as the launch customers for innovative or highly sought technologies that carry too much of a risk for industry to develop on its own or without some minimum assurance of a market for the technology. In other words, pre-commercial procurement applies where there is so-called market failure in a given technology area.

The risk would be shared between the public and private sectors as a trade-off, with end-users granting a privileged but temporary purchasing relationship with suppliers in return for the right to exploit their research results and test unproven technologies. Later, competitive market conditions would prevail.

If carried out across the EU 27 as a concept, pre-commercial procurement could build critical mass on the demand side, stimulate competition and exploit economies of scale in Europe’s security sector.

The Commission will regularly consult with the Member States to determine which industrial policy initiatives are ripe for launching in the future.

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