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3 février 2015 2 03 /02 /février /2015 17:50
EDA discusses synergies at EU Space Policy Conference


Brussels - 30 January, 2015 European Defence Agency


EDA European Synergies & Innovation Director Denis Roger provided the audience of the 7th EU Space Policy Conference with an overview of the Agency’s work in the field of Governmental satellite communications. 


The 7th Annual Conference on European Union Space Policy took place 27-28 January in Brussels. For this year’s edition, this event of major importance for the space community focused on the rising demand for space services and applications in Europe and on ways to reinforce the EU’s position in that domain. It gathered high-level speakers from governments, industry and EU institutions.



Speaking as part of the sixth session dedicated to the increasing civil and security & defence synergies of space services, EDA European Synergies & Innovation (ESI) Director Denis Roger put the focus on the Agency’s role in the cooperative Govsatcom (Governmental Satellite Communications) programme. “A common set of requirements has been approved by participating Member States in 2014”, he pointed out. “The European Defence Agency is now preparing the technical studies that will allow us to offer options to Member States by late 2016, early 2017”, he added.

From the outset, this future Govsatcom programme will need to benefit from a dual approach, taking into account military and civil needs. “Not taking advantage of such synergies will be a waste of efficiency and taxpayer’s money”, Denis Roger stressed. He also discussed the topic of remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS), another capability priority supported by the December 2013 European Council with an important space dimension:  “The DESIRE program, ran jointly by EDA and the European Space Agency, will investigate if satellite communications are compatible with safety and navigability requirements for the air traffic insertion of RPAS”.  


Dual-use approach

Denis Roger stressed again the benefits of a dual-use approach on these topics. He also mentioned cyber defence as a field where close coordination between civil and military users is needed and should be taken into account at the very beginning of any new programmatic initiative.

He concluded on the fact that the progress made to better exploit civil-military synergies did not diminish the need for specific defence research and had to be pursued through the full use of EU funding instruments to support them as well as other dual-use initiatives in the space domain.


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29 novembre 2014 6 29 /11 /novembre /2014 17:50
First EDA-Commission workshop on the preparatory action for CSDP-related research


Brussels - 25 November, 2014 European Defence Agency


Almost 100 representatives from Member States, the European Commission and the European Defence Agency (EDA) gathered on 21 November at the Agency premises. As tasked by the December 2013 European Council, they initiated a debate on research related to the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) and the Preparatory Action in this field, which is expected to be launched in 2017.

This workshop allowed Member States to discuss the overall objective and scope of this future programme. It was co-organised by the Commission, responsible and financially accountable for the launch of the Preparatory Action, and EDA,  bringing its skills and experience in setting up and implementing defence research. “We need to prove that we are able to launch research on a new subject, to build procedures together and to set a common goal”, Philippe Brunet, Director of Aerospace, Maritime, Security and Defence Industries within the European Commission’s Directorate General Enterprise and Industry, explained. 

Philippe Brunet is the Director of Aerospace, Maritime, Security and Defence Industries within the European Commission’s Directorate General Enterprise and Industry.


A first step

 “Why is it so important to get the Preparatory Action right? Because it is the first step towards a much bigger challenge: the setting-up of a CSDP-related research programme at EU- level” stressed Denis Roger, EDA European Synergies and Innovation director. “What is at stake is the development of a European technological and industrial base with a critical mass on areas we consider important for the development of CSDP-related capabilities”, he added. 

The meeting offered an insight into the lessons learned from an end-user perspective. Commander Ben Falk, in charge of strategic analysis at the EU Military Staff, reminded the audience of the important links that should be maintained between the operational lessons learned at EU-level, the Capability Development Plan – recent update of which was presented by Axel Butenschoen from EDA – and future research initiatives.  

Consensus emerged on the fact that, in order to bring something new, this preparatory action needs to be defence-oriented and to focus on CSDP capabilities, while promoting innovation and European defence industry competitiveness. 


On 1 May 2014, Brigadier General (Engineer) Denis Roger was appointed as Director, European Synergies and Innovation (ESI) of the European Defence Agency. 


Bringing added value

Bryan Wells, from the UK Ministry of Defence, discussed the need to complement national research programmes and to bring a European added-value, while Carmen Rodriguez Augustin, from Spain, underlined that “interests of governments and industry have to be respected and properly covered because the defence sector needs specific rules and provisions”. 

During a keynote intervention, Jan-Olof Lind, chairman of EDA’s research & technology Steering Board, underlined the added value of a programme benefitting from a centralised budget, while insisting on the great innovation potential of a CSDP-focussed initiative.

After a full day of thorough debate on this topic of critical importance for the future of European defence, participants agreed to meet again in February for a new round  of discussions.

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5 mai 2014 1 05 /05 /mai /2014 07:50
New Director European Synergies and Innovation (ESI)

Brussels - 30 April, 2014 European Defence Agency


As of May 1st, Denis Roger will begin his role as Director, European Synergies and Innovation (ESI) of the European Defence Agency.


The ESI directorate acts as an interface between Ministries of Defence and wider EU policies. Denis Roger’s portfolio includes Innovative Research, Space, Horizon 2020, European Structural Funds and Market & Industry policies as well as Energy and Environment and Single European Sky-related issues.

Before joining EDA, Denis worked in the department of the French Prime Minister as the Deputy Head, International, Strategic and Technological Affairs, at the French General Secretariat for Defence and National Security. In this position, he was in charge of issues relating to export control, counter-proliferation and international crisis.

Throughout his career, Denis has held a range of international research and technology orientated positions. He has previously worked at the European Commission, for French Defence Technology and Procurement Agency, and as the French Defence Equipment Attaché in Australia.


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