October 29 -- it is three years since the defense ministers of Norway and The Netherlands signed an agreement on strategic military research cooperation. The cooperation has been successful and will continue as a permanent arrangement.
The research collaboration is referred to as SMART (Strategic Mutual Assistance in Research and Technology) and represents a new model for expanded, international research and technology cooperation. When the agreement was signed in 2015, a three-year trial period was agreed before the cooperation was made permanent. The trial period expires on the day that the Norwegian and Dutch Defense Ministers meet in connection with Trident Juncture.
The research collaboration is carried out by the Norwegian Defense Research Institute in Norway and the Netherlands Organization for Applied Science and the Netherlands Aerospace Center in the Netherlands. Research communities will work integrated and long-term with each other to share knowledge and results through joint projects. The purpose is to maintain a larger knowledge base in selected disciplines in a cost-effective manner than is the case for each nation, and that both parties contribute and can use this knowledge base.
The cooperation has so far covered technical sub-agreements in chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear research and space research for military purposes. When successful cooperation is continued, consideration will be given to incorporating new subject areas into several technical sub-agreements.
The initiative is part of the range of concrete goals to collaborate more with other nations, both bilaterally and in the context of NATO. "As a small nation, we are always looking for ways to make things smarter and in partnership with other allies," says Defense Minister Frank Bakke-Jensen.
Several new projects are currently being planned within the framework of SMART cooperation.