More than 80 experts from 13 European countries participated in the Kick-Off meeting in Maribor, Slovenia, between 16-17 February 2023 to start the “INDY, Energy Independent and Efficient Deployable Military Camps” project.
Prominent keynote speakers and experts from industry and research organisations emphasised the importance of the green energy transition of defence, the opportunity to strengthen the collaboration between various civil and defence representatives to develop and implement solutions for future energy-independent and efficient deployable military camps based on actual end-users requirements.
The two-day event was also the opportunity to establish all project Consortium Bodies. One of the most important is the End-User Advisory Board (EAB), consisting of representatives of the respective Ministries of Defence or the Armed Forces. The EAB aims to support and advise project partners on end-users future needs and technical requirements to ensure overall harmonisation, convergence and interoperability.
The event was organised by the project coordinator TECES, Slovenian Green Tech Cluster, with the support of the Slovenian Energy and Environment Partnership in Defence (SiEnE) and the Slovenian Ministry of Defence (Si MoD), which is also responsible for coordinating and directing the involved representatives of the Ministries of Defence in the project.
The event opened with speeches by Dr Damir ČRNČEC, State Secretary at the Slovenian Ministry of Defence, Mr Ngandu MUPANGILAI, European Commission (DG DEFIS) as dedicated INDY Project Officer, Col Robert ŠIPEC, the Head of Armament Division at the Si MoD and newly appointed INDY Project Manager, and Mr Matej GAJZER, Managing Director of TECES and the President of the SiEnE.
State secretary of the Slovenian Ministry of Defence, Dr Damir Črnčec, emphasised “… To foster our advancements on a global scale, intra-European Union cooperation and harmonisation of efforts are of significant strategic value, especially within vital sectors, where our security and autonomy might be contested. Common collaborative projects, such as INDY, offer a good reference point to why and how this could be done.”
In the following session, the French Ministry for the Armed Forces representatives, Maj Raphael DANINO-PERRAUD and Mr Fabien MICHELIN presented the military deployable camps’ energy challenges from the perspective of the end users, also related to the “Permanent Structured Cooperation – Energy Operational Function” (PESCO-EOF) project. Both emphasised that “The PESCO OEF recognises the special interest on the research activities conducted within the EDF21 INDY project. INDY contributes to the current reflections on energy in military operations with the evaluation of civil energy technology bricks and the definition of energy-resilient camp concepts adapted to the military environment. As an end user, the PESCO-EOF acknowledges the importance of developing a full-scale demonstrator as a follow-up of INDY.”
After the keynote speakers, the following programme session focused on providing insight into INDY’s general strategy and goals towards energy independence, and a brief outline of technical work supporting the ambitions of INDY’s general strategy and goals.
A very intense first kick-off day was concluded with the work package leaders’ presentations of each of the nine structured work packages to align expectations and desired outcomes of the project. Participating partners and known subcontractors have also introduced themselves in the final programme session to present their capabilities and internal motivation for joining the project.
The second day’s focus was on establishing the project governance structures, including the INDY General Assembly (GA) and various project bodies needed to ensure efficient project monitoring and delivery of results in such a complex project organisation with more than 31 entities and external stakeholders.
At the first meeting of the End-User Advisory Board (EAB), the representatives of the Ministries of Defence proposed Col Robert ŠIPEC from the Slovenian Ministry of Defence (Si MoD) as the INDY Project Manager.
In parallel, the work package leaders have organised hybrid working groups (WGs) sessions to provide in-depth understanding to participating partners on the organisation of technical work and needed collaboration to achieve desired results.
CAFA leads the Training and Documentation in the INDY project.We develop specialized training programs for stakeholders, focusing on military transfer assessments and bolstering the Critical Components Testing phase.
Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or European Commission. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.
Funding Body: European Defence Fund | Call Topic ID: EDF-2021-ENERENV-D-EEMC | Project No: 101103388