Future Soldier Exhibition & Conference 2012
The biggest meeting of army tops with manufacturers and security experts - this is the Future Soldier Exhibition & Conference, which is hosted by the Czech Republic and takes place in Prague between October 17 and 19, 2012.
The Future Soldier Exhibition & Conference 2012 is a tenth anniversary event of its kind, linked to its nine predecessors, which took place in cities like Lisbon, Paris, London, Toronto, Oslo or Nitra. While the previous events focused mainly on personal equipment and gear as dealt with in the Alliance’s "21st Century Soldier” project, in which EAPC countries have also been involved, this year’s exhibition reflects in full, and reacts to, the latest needs of all NATO allies and member nations of the EAPC, MD and ICI as well as all countries closely cooperating with NATO, such as South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea and Japan.
In 2010, more than 135 exhibitors from 25 countries, 213 brand names and several nations took part in the internationally recognized event. More than 7,500 visitors from 27 countries arrived at the PVA Expo Letòany exhibition site, which ranks among the newest and most modern exhibition facilities in Central Europe; in addition, a meeting of the NATO LCG/1 Working Group was held there as well, and supplementary events were attended by 600 guests from 23 countries.
Central Issues - Cyber Defence, Future Soldier, Smart Defence, Critical Infrastructure Protection
The nomenclature of the Future Soldier Exhibition & Conference 2012 includes, inter alia,
- personal gear, equipment and protection,
- communication systems and their protection,
- latest defence technologies,
- troop training procedures,
- law enforcement,
- logistics and
- medical equipment.
This year’s exhibition and conference focuses on supporting key tasks and missions of the Alliance in the field of cyber defence, soldier’s equipment, the improvement of acquisition and procurement procedures, as well as the protection of strategic infrastructure.
However, the event is, first and foremost, a forum where manufacturers of defence equipment and technologies meet with procurers acquiring equipment for armed service branches and elements of emergency response systems. It is a unique opportunity to meet in person with high representatives of the NATO HQ, NATO allies, EAPC, MD or ICI nations and other countries (more than 70 national representatives at the First Deputy Minister of Defence level have been invited to the exhibition and conference this year), and other military organizations and agencies, such as the European Defence Agency. The Future Soldier Exhibition & Conference 2012 is the only Central European event attended by representatives of the NATO HQ, NATO Maintenance and Supply Agency (NAMSA), new NATO Command and Information Agency (NATO C&I), NATO Standardization Agency (NSA) and European Defence Agency (EDA) throughout its duration.
Top-Notch Accompanying Programme
Attendees of the 10th year will see an attractive portfolio of accompanying events too. Reflecting one of the main topics of the exhibition, i. e. cyber defence issues, a "Future of Cyber” conference, jointly organized by the AFCEA and the Cyber Security Working Group of the Czech AFCEA Chapter, will take place. It is primarily designed for security and information professionals of the public administration sphere and defence and security forces, as well as for academic and private communities collaborating on public interest projects, with a special focus on cyber defence and cyber security projects. The newly constituted National Cyber Centre will also be introduced at the conference, during which leading cyber security experts will deliver their presentations.
Another parallel event is a congress of the European Military Press Association (EMPA), which will also take place during the Future Soldier Exhibition & Conference 2012. The exhibitors will thus have an opportunity to present their products to military and defence journalists from more than twenty countries.
Various NATO working groups will also hold their sessions during the event. For example, there will be a meeting of the NATO LCG/2 (Combat Manoeuvre) Working Group, and the armoured vehicle specialists attending it surely will not miss the chance to have a look at products they are interested in.
Direct Support of Essential Associations
The Future Soldier Exhibition & Conference 2012 is held under the direct auspices of the Minister of Defence of the Czech Republic, the Defence and Security Industry Association, the Association of Manufacturers and Sellers of Arms and Ammunition, the AFCEA and the Czech Chamber of Commerce. Its organizers have been conducting an intensive promotion campaign in all key markets to make sure that relevant key experts will be present throughout the three-day exhibition. The campaign includes, inter alia, promotion in international printed media, presentations to key agencies and structures of the Alliance and at international defence and military exhibitions and fairs.
All information and contacts can be found at www.natoexhibition.org.
Pavel Zelenka, Executive Director