In the last two decades a new industrial sector has taken shape, coming to comprise aerospace, security and defense as a whole. Indeed, borders that used to separate the three segmentshave gradually blurred. Such a new market reality presents specific features that strongly influence market regulations, industrial policy, and most of all, the support to technological research. In this evolved context, it has indeed proven difficult to put aside States' specific security and defense needs, however excessive impermeability risks to create duplications and waste resources, as well as contradictory effects. Moreover, these critical issues also influence even more problematically the European market dimension. In this framework, the direct and indirect interplays among the three main actors - industry, state and foreign customers - cannot be overlooked. Europe's reference market is currently represented by the US' and the variety of ongoing initiatives (Framework Agreement/LoI, OCCAR, EDA, European Commission) aim at favoring a similar continental integration. In fact, the concentration process of the European industry, within which the Italian industry has progressively consolidated, goes in that same direction. The current challenge is that of rationalization of industrial activities so as to secure areas of technological excellence, while taking into account the limits imposed by the international economic and financial crisis.
Based on a presentation at the conference “L'Italia fuori dalla crisi: il posizionamento competitivo dell'industria italiana”, Perugia, 24 September 2010.