The inaugural European Test and Evaluation Community Days Conference took place on 25-26 November 2014 in Rome. It gathered more than 100 participants from twelve Member States, and was also supported by Switzerland and Serbia.
The conference was held as part of the Defence Test and Evaluation Base (DTEB) framework, a European Defence Agency (EDA) initiative which aims to develop Pooling & Sharing opportunities in the field of experimentation, test and evaluation capabilities for EU Member States.
“What we need is a large-scale European network of defence test and evaluation centres“, stressed Rini Goos, EDA Deputy Chief Executive. Giampaolo Lillo, EDA Cooperation Planning and Support Director and chairman of the event, added that “a bottom-up approach is the right way to achieve this objective”.
The event itself sought to discuss potential ways of working together in order to optimise the European Test & Evaluation Base network, thus improving defence acquisition outcomes in a time of budgetary pressure. Four main sessions were held, focussing on policy, project management, European test and evaluation capabilities and EDA support to test & evaluation (T&E) cooperation in Europe.
Based upon the success of the event, it was decided that further meetings of the same kind will be arranged in the future. More importantly, this first conference produced a number of recommendations to the DTEB Plenary Group to encourage greater collaboration within the EU T&E community. These include:
- Enabling tangible cooperation between European test and evaluation centres
- Inviting all Member States (including Switzerland and Serbia) to make the best use of the existing DTEB tool by populating its database
- Pursuing the identification of new T&E capabilities requiring further investigation and which could be included in the Agency’s Capability Development Plan
- Enhancing mutual recognition of test procedures, standardisation and qualification
- Promoting currently available tools within the European Defence Agency, such as the Codaba, the Defence Industry Directory or the CDP