56th SPICE Meeting 88th ICECE Work Group event

Funchal, Madeira, Portugal
23 – 25 Jun 2002

The third NATO Advanced Research Workshop (ARW) with SPICE Group participation as titles "Defense related SME's: Analysis and Description of Current Conditions; The Challenge of Re-Adjustment in the 21st Century". The initiators of this event were Tom Shea and Pelagio Branco who developed the program and selected the speakers to be invited. For example Rich Bendis who reported on his new activities in Philadelphia and moderated the final session of the Workshop aimed at developing an agreed proposal for future activities. Other speakers from SPICE Group were Heinz Fiedler, Gennadi Gaiko, Mircea Slanina, Stefan Vrátny and Krzysztof Zasiadly The discussion covered topics like the relation between large industries and SME's in defense related areas, the effects of military downsizing in industry, namely concerning small and medium companies and instruments to solve the problems in local or regional economic development caused by closing or downsizing military facilities. Many similarities were found with the regional problems caused by closing down old industries and therefore - despite of the military related differences - many tools known from the business incubation industry can be applied.

The social events around the workshop from a sightseeing tour all over this "island of flowers" to a reception hosted by the Governor contributed much to the outstandingly positive atmosphere and work climate of this event.

First time in its history SPICE Group invited all workshop participants for a SPICE Roof-Top-Reception to support the development of the network. In the warm evening sun of Madeira many new contacts could be made and existing links maintained. The SPICE Meeting mainly served for introducing the guests to the concept of this network and to discuss some actual topics, for example the global information system SPICE Directory Online.