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1 August 2012 | Kamalpreet Badasha
The European Commission aims to boost the security market, with plans to introduce standardised certification for equipment and encourage pre-commercial procurement to foster innovation.
The purpose is to overcome the fragmented nature of the EU security market, with different standards used between nations.
Greater standardisation for alarm systems and airport security technology would save buyers an estimated €29 million (£22.8 million) annually. This would reduce marketing and development costs, which would in turn result in lower prices.
“The current fragmented market weakens the competitiveness of Europe’s security industry. This lack of an ‘EU brand’ is especially critical, as the future key markets for security technologies will not be in Europe but in emerging countries,” said Antonio Tajani, EC vice president. “Today we have agreed a blueprint for the creation of a true internal market for security technologies. This is essential to strengthen the position of our security industry, so that it can contribute to growth and jobs.”
The commission is also seeking to create links between civil and defence research to prevent duplication of projects. Similar standards for radio software used in computers would boost sales by €1 billion (£700 million) by by 2020.
It also planned to encourage pre-commercial procurement – the purchase of products that don’t yet exist - to fund EU security research projects for areas such as border and aviation security. This would allow research to be tested and developed before being launched to the market. It has been estimated that a 1 per cent increase in annual growth sales as a result of R&D support would result in additional sales of €2 billion (£1.6 billion) by 2020.
The EC will also establish an expert group to meet at least once a year to monitor policy measures.