The financial crisis affected the CBRN industry. “Government funding cuts as a result of the recession did affect the procurement habits of some governments around the world, such as the U.S., Europe and Asia,” Rothbacher said. New regional markets were affected less, as emerging countries with rapid economic growth responded positively to sales opportunities.
Investment in R&D was halted by some vendors, which could hamper developing technologies already underway when the recession hit. “Budget cuts do have a significant impact on the development of new sensors, especially in the military environment where much of the low toll-like receptor technologies are currently in development,” Gaasbeek said. “This impact will deepen in the coming years, since many of these research projects tend to run multiple years and in many cases will not be prolonged.”
The recession may not be the main reason for a R&D slowdown. “In the U.S., military requirements and homeland protection cannot be compromised, which may translate to the fact that new R&D initiatives need to be prioritized. However, as a result of the imminent threats posed by terrorists with potential CBRN weapons, the priorities have been transitioned to those identified as immediate, substantial and high targets — supporting the soldiers in missions,” said Monica Heyl, CEO of Monica Heyl and Associates. “These priorities predominantly relate to government funded efforts. From a US government perspective, it remains the intention to continue to develop new technologies and solutions by focusing on better collaboration across organizations, prioritizing efforts in new R&D initiatives and providing the very best tools in the timeliest manner to the soldiers and the US homeland.”