EURONAVAL 2020, transformed into an entirely new and digital format in just a few weeks, closed its ‘virtual’ doors on Sunday evening.
After 7 days of online meetings, BtoB and BtoG business meetings, web-conferences, round tables, webinars and workshops, it’s time to take stock of this unique edition which, like the French, European and global naval industry, has proved its resilience and its position at the forefront of the fight for economic recovery.
“We all regret that we were not able to see the classic organisation of the Euronaval 2020 exhibition through to its end. The digital exchanges probably don’t have the intensity and humanity of a handshake, a face to face meeting or a moment shared in person. However, we are pleased and proud to have been able to maintain the essential, useful and necessary export support for the French, European and world shipbuilding industries. I would like to thank the exhibitors and sponsors who put their trust in us and followed us on EURONAVAL-Online. To all our partners, and especially to the small team at SOGENA, I offer my warmest congratulations for creating and running Euronaval-online in such a short time and under particularly difficult conditions” Hervé Guillou, President of the GICAN and President of Euronaval.
With more than 10,000 online visits, confirming the choice to maintain Euronaval in digital format, this “première” has highlighted some of the advantages of the digital format.
It can be noted that audiences for the workshops, conferences and round tables was higher overall than at previous classic editions of the exhibition, particularly for presentations made by exhibiting industrialists.
In addition, the systematic online replay of political and military speeches and workshops offers visitors a new experience that goes far beyond the usual framework of an event of this type. These tools, developed specifically for EURONAVAL-Online, will probably be used to complement future editions.
Finally, it seems that the digital exhibition has been of greater benefit to small and medium-sized companies, which are usually less visible than large groups at traditional trade fairs.
The organisers also welcome the fact that a good number of new foreign companies have chosen to exhibit at the digital show whereas they had not chosen to exhibit at the classic exhibition at the Le Bourget centre.
1) A virtual, political, military and industrial inauguration
New features this year for the inauguration of the exhibition. On the “live” part of the exhibition, political and military speeches punctuated the first morning of the exhibition.
At the opening of EURONAVAL-Online, Mrs Florence Parly, Minister of the Armed Forces, delivered a powerful and resolute speech and confirmed in particular “…that this programme (of the future aircraft carrier) will be launched in 2038 as a successor to the Charles de Gaulle. This future aircraft carrier will unite the excellence of our naval industry in the coming decades and via its strategic dimension, will provide a framework for employment that is perfectly adapted, as early as the design phase, to the future combat aircraft of our armies, known as SCAF.”
For the first time, this year EURONAVAL welcomed Mrs Annick Girardin, Minister for the Sea, who expressed her satisfaction that “…the international dimension of EURONAVAL is not limited just to European countries. The ships and systems presented at this exhibition, by the industry, also represent cooperation with other parts of the world. There is no shortage of subjects of interest that we share with other nations, whether in maritime security, trade protection or conservation of the oceans and their resources. In all these areas, our industry is prominent, inspiring industrial cooperation and supporting operational cooperation.”
- Mrs Agnès Pannier-Runacher, Minister Delegate for Industry, “France has always been a great maritime power: together, let’s stay the course and be at the forefront of innovation”
- Mrs Françoise Dumas, President of the Defence and Armed Forces Committee of the National Assembly “Although health conditions have affected its operation, its Euronaval’s digital version is important for the defence sector, its industrial players and its civil and military customers”
- Mr Christian Cambon, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Armed Forces Committee of the Senate “Why have a Euronaval exhibition in Paris? The fact that it takes place in Paris means recognizing that France is a major maritime power“
- Admiral Jean-François Querat, Deputy Secretary-General for the Sea, “It is at the price of interoperability, resilience, and adaptability in the face of emerging threats that the resources of our coastguards will be able to meet the challenges posed by European and national maritime security policies“
- Mr Joël Barre, general delegate for armament, “To fullfill its missions, we need to garantee our Navy the operational superiority”
- Admiral Pierre Vandier, Navy Chief of Staff “Today, the strategic space is marked by an extremely rapid remilitarisation of the sea”
- Mr Hervé Guillou, president of the GICAN and EURONAVAL “The strength of EURONAVAL, and what made its incredible influence, is its ability to renew itself every two years to be closer to the stakes of the industrialists and their customers, the navies of the whole world”
2) Exhibitors and visitors attracted by the EURONAVAL-Online formula
On the day the decision was taken to transform EURONAVAL into a digital trade fair, 24th September 2020, just three weeks before the opening, nearly 300 exhibitors and 77 delegations had already confirmed their participation. More than two thirds then decided to join the digital exhibition that was being offered to them. They were then joined by new exhibitors interested in this innovative project. All in all, more than 280 exhibitors and 59 official delegations from 31 countries took part in EURONAVAL-Online, including for the first time a delegation from the French Navy.
A good level of participation considering the circumstances and a strong sign of the resilience and adaptability of the naval industry, as the French Minister of the Armed Forces pointed out in her opening speech.
“Our wish was to offer exhibitors, delegations and visitors a digital experience as close as possible to that of a classic EURONAVAL exhibition. We built it with our partner J2C Communication as EURONAVAL’s digital double. We even went so far as to experiment, organising BtoG (business to government) meetings between exhibitors and official delegations. We wanted them to benefit as much as possible from the same personalised services as in previous editions of EURONAVAL, with tailor-made support to promote synergies”
Hugues d’Argentré, GD Euronaval.
In an extremely short timeframe, exhibitors had to get to grips with the new tools available to them. During the exhibition week, from 19th to 25th October, a new momentum, different from previous editions, but no less relevant, took over the world shipbuilding industry.
3) Some of the highlights at EURONAVAL-ONLINE
The announcements made by the Minister of the Armed Forces about the launch of the PANG programme, the first firing of a cruise missile from the Suffren (the first in the series of six nuclear attack submarines (SNA) in the Barracuda programme), the repair of the SNA ‘La Perle’, and the commitment to the programme to renew the Navy’s ocean patrol vessels.
The presentation of the new study “World defence shipbuilding (2015-2019)” carried out by JANES and the GICAN, which offers a global vision of world defence shipbuilding and the major trends. This study has been the subject of several articles in the French press (Les Echos, Le Figaro, Challenges).
The conference on export markets and strategic partnerships organised in partnership with the FRS, with general engineer of armament Thierry CARLIER, Director of International Development for the DGA.
The round table on the European Union’s maritime strategy, bringing together the SGMer and executive directors from the three European agencies Frontex, European Fisheries Control Agency (EFCA) and European Maritime Security Agency (EMSA).
4) CYBER Naval Hub, SEAnnovation and the Trade Vessel: reflections of the industry
On EURONAVAL-Online, three spaces in particular illustrated the challenges and energy of the naval defence and maritime security industries, namely cybersecurity, technological innovation and training and employment.
The CYBER Naval Hub by FIC, one of the new features of this EURONAVAL-ONLINE 2020 edition organised in partnership with CEIS, organised 4 round tables giving the floor to the companies present on the pavilion as well as to expert speakers and major industrialists.
The SEAnnovation space, organised in partnership with Starburst, welcomed around thirty French and foreign start-ups. This pavilion broadcast four round tables on major subjects of the Special Forces’ operational needs, economic support to the French naval innovation sector and innovation for operational maintenance and the future of naval aviation.
The Trade Vessel, organised by the Naval Industry Campus, for its part broadcast five webinars to present the many facets of naval industry professions (production, design technicians, engineers, robotics & cybersecurity and women in the maritime industry). 1000 young people were able to attend these webinars and put questions to naval industry professionals present on stage and online.
5) A dynamic communication service for exhibitors
This year EURONAVAL-ONLINE called upon Naval News to produce its online daily. Published online every morning, the Daily covered the highlights of the digital exhibition and detailed exhibition and exhibitor news and innovations.
EURONAVAL-ONLINE’s day-to-day news is available by consulting the daily online news produced by Naval News.
6) EURONAVAL-ONLINE 2020 key figures
- 280 exhibitors including 40% of foreigners from 26 countries
- 59 official delegations from 31 countries and international organisations
- More than 10,500 visits to the EURONAVAL-ONLINE platform from more than 40 countries
- Over 130 000 web-pages visited
- 145 contributors and over 3500 participants in conferences, webinars, round tables and web-conferences
- 1260 BtoB and BtoG connections took place over the course of the week
- Almost 200 accredited journalists