The Thirteenth edition of the International Defence Equipment and services Exhibition "Hemus 2018 - Defence, Anti-terrorism and Security" was held from 30-th of May to 2-nd of June 2018 at the International Fair Plovdiv. In this year’s edition an additional accent was put on the areas of cyber and border security, strategic communications and autonomous and unmanned systems.
On an exhibition area of 4436 sq.m. of which 1536 sq.m. indoor and 2873 sq.m. outdoor a total of 69 exhibitors were presented, out of which 48 Bulgarian and 21 foreign. Seventeen (17) countries participated in the event - Republic of Austria, Republic of Belarus, Republic of Bulgaria, Federal Republic of Germany (5 companies), Kingdom of Denmark, State of Israel (two companies), Italian Republic, Canada, People's Republic of China, Republic of Lithuania, Kingdom of Spain, Republic of Poland, United States of America (4 companies), Republic of Turkey, Republic of Finland, French Republic (4 companies) and Czech Republic. For the first time the Bulgarian Ministry of Interior participated as an exhibitor with two of its bodies. The Bulgarian Academia and Universities expanded their participation, with 10 scientific and higher education units presenting their educational products, services and innovative scientific developments in the field of security and defence. The trade parameters of the exhibition recorded its most significant growth for the past 10 years.
The number of visitors surpassed 2,800 people and showed a high national and international growth in interest in the exhibition, also the most significant for the past 10 years. In a national context, the exposition was attended by the President of the Republic of Bulgaria, by the Chairman of the Parliamentary Commission on Defence and Members of Parliament, by two Deputy Prime Ministers, by the Deputy Ministers of Defence and Deputy Ministers of Economy, Interior and the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU 2018, by the Chief of Defence, the Chiefs of the Services, Generals, Admirals, servicemen, servicewomen and citizens.
The exhibition attracted an extremely high international interest. The event was visited by the European Commissioner for the Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, by the Chief Executive of the European Defence Agency, by the Deputy Director General of DG "GROW" to the European Commission, by the Deputy Director of "Infrastructure Services" in the NATO Communication and Information Agency (NCIA), by the representatives of the AeroSpace and Defence Industries Association of Europe (ASD) and others. The exhibition was attended by 12 foreign delegations, guests of the Bulgarian Minister of Defence from Republic of Albania, People's Democratic Republic of Algeria (military delegation), Republic of Turkey (adviser to the Minister of Defence), Ukraine, Lebanese Republic (the Defence Minister) Hellenic Republic (the National Armaments Director), Republic of Austria (the Deputy National Armaments Director), French Republic (the National Armaments Director), Bosnia and Herzegovina (the Deputy Minister of Defence), Republic of Estonia, United Arab Emirates (military delegation), the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (military delegation) and visitors from India, Ghana and many other countries. A number of countries were presented by the Heads of their Diplomatic Missions in Bulgaria as well as by the Defence Attachés accredited in Sofia.
According to an independent sociological survey, the satisfaction of exhibitors and visitors this year marks a significant increase compared to previous editions, with over 80% of exhibitors and 90% of visitors fully satisfied and negative ratings missing. More than 85% of exhibitors and more than 90% of visitors give a specific request or state intent to participate in a next edition. For exhibitors, 17% realized their intentions to conclude deals during the exhibition, and another 61% expected to do so after the event. Visitors, in turn, praised the importance of the 2018 edition, with almost all respondents firmly convinced that such an exhibition will continue to be relevant for business decision-making and business development and will remain useful and effective over the next 5-6 years, which is a clear indication of the proper direction of Hemus and the expediency of developing the exhibition in the future.
Thus, ‘Hemus 2018’ has become a successful platform for coordination and partnership between the Bulgarian State Institutions, the Bulgarian Defence Industry, the Bulgarian Armed Forces, and the academic community and has established itself as an emblem of synergy of efforts in the interests of national security and industrial development.
Expanded international participation and developed strong international, European and Euro-Atlantic interest in the exhibition made ‘Hemus 2018’ a high international forum for the realization of interests in the domains of "business - business", "state - state" and "business - state".
The exhibition and the accompanying events were covered by representatives of over 40 Bulgarian and foreign media.
Exposure in practice covered the full cycle of the development of a defence product or service – education and training, innovation, R&D, production, commercialization, acquisition, absorption and lifecycle support. Opening ceremony, accompanying events and closing of the exhibition.
The Thirteenth edition of the International Defence Equipment and services Exhibition ‘Hemus 2018’ was opened on 30-th of May by the President of the Republic of Bulgaria, Rumen Radev. In his address, the President emphasized the importance of the exposition for the deepening of the existing ones and the establishment of new partnerships of different types in the name of the international prestige of Bulgaria and of its economic security. Deputy Prime Minister for Public Order and Security and Minister of Defence, Krasimir Karakachanov gave a welcome address to the exhibitors, guests and visitors of the event. The main emphasis in the address was that the thirteenth edition is taking place at the time when the Bulgarian government has already voted two of the largest modernization projects for the Bulgarian Land Forces and the Bulgarian Air Force, and it is due to take few weeks to vote the third one for the Bulgarian Navy.
At the traditional pre-opening press conference, the Deputy Minister of Defence, Anatoliy Velichkov and the Deputy Minister of Economics, Alexander Manolev headed supported by numbers messages to the potential participants in the modernization of the Bulgarian Armed Forces and also to the potential customers of the Bulgarian Defence Industry. It was pointed out that the total value of the three major investment projects approved by the government is over 2,125 billion EUR and the government will ensure a maximum possible participation of the Bulgarian Defence Industry in both the implementation of the projects and the whole lifecycle support of the acquired armaments and equipment. Regarding the state of the Bulgarian Defence Industry, it was emphasized that for the past year exports of its production amounted to 1.215 billion EUR, while the import of such products was 0.274 billion EUR. This part of the Bulgarian economy engages 15,000 jobs and a week ago, a facility for the production of armoured vehicles was opened in Bulgaria for an investment of nearly 3 million EUR. Ninth International Scientific Conference.
The 9-th International Scientific Conference on "Research, Innovation and Industrial Cooperation in the Interest of the Common European Defence and Security" took place on 31-st of May. The main thematic areas covered the role and functions of the European Defence Fund, the priorities for the acquisition of capabilities in the European Union, the promotion of Defence Research, the implementation of the Preparatory action for Research in Defence and also areas covering arms, combat systems and technologies, communication systems and cyber security, social and economic aspects of defence.
More than 280 delegates and guests from European Union countries, from Israel, Albania, Ghana, Algeria and others, as well as a number of representatives of world leading defence equipment manufacturers and academics, took part in the conference. During the conference, 29 reports were announced, while another 23 were on posters. Industrial Forum.
The Industrial Forum was on "Defence and Industrial Cooperation in the European Union - New Opportunities for the European Defence Industry" and was held on 30-th of May. This event accompanying the exhibition in its turn also attracted a wide international interest. Representatives from 15 European and global companies and organizations, as well as participants from more than 40 companies, research institutes and organizations took part in the works. The main highlights of the discussions were focused on the capabilities of the European Defence Industrial Development Program (EDIDP) and the opportunities for participation of the national and other EU Defence Industry, facilitating and fostering the dialogue between Bulgarian and other European companies with prospects for successful collaborative partnerships for participation in the EDIDP (match-making), the establishment of contacts between relevant Bulgarian and other European companies and institutes to join efforts in participating in projects of the EDIDP using the platform provided by the AeroSpace and Defence Industries Association of Europe (ASD) and European Commission, presenting the Work Program for the implementation of EDIDP in the context of already agreed with the European Parliament proposal for establishing a Regulation on EDIDP. The practical result of the work was the signing of the Memorandum of Cooperation between the participants in the Industrial Forum, to which this year joined 4 new Bulgarian companies, as well as the Bulgarian Ministry of Interior. Demonstration Firings.
On 1-st of June Demonstration Firings within ‘HEMUS 2018’ took place at "Zmejovo" Central Artillery Technical Testing Range. Seven (7) companies and organizations took part in the event. On the Bulgarian side, 18 types of new defence products have been demonstrated by the following producers: Vazovski Mashinostroitelni Zavodi JSC - Sopot, Arcus AD – Lyaskovetz, Aheloi TSO Ltd. – Sofia, DUNARIT JSC - Rousse, Stroyproject Ltd. - Sofia and Central Artillery Technical Testing Range itself.
For the first time in the history of the exhibition the Demonstration Firings this year involved a foreign company - "Patria Land System", Finland. The company demonstrated the maneuvering and firing capabilities of their modular armoured vehicle Patria AMV 8x8 .
Also for the first time the Demonstration Firings were broadcasted on live in the mail pavilion of the exhibition and were accessible for monitoring from each point through web- Internet address. Static display of the Bulgarian Armed Forces and the Ministry of Interior armament and equipment.
This armament and equipment were exhibited in several centres - "Automotive Transport Centre", "Specialized Equipment", "Aviation Equipment and Diving Equipment of the Navy", "Weapons and Optical Instruments", "Individual and Ballistic Protection Tools", "Modelling and Simulation Systems" , "Air Force Field Communications Centre" and "Ministry of Interior Centre", where counterterrorism, firefighting and disaster relief equipment was exposed. Closing the exhibition.
The closing ceremony took place on 2-nd of June from 11.00 am to 2.00 pm. The Deputy Minister of Defence Anatoliy Velichkov handed a plaque to each of the exhibitors as well as Certificates for innovative works presented at the exhibition of six teams from "Vasil Levski" National Defence University, Faculty of ‘Artillery, Air Defence and CIS’, Shumen.
On behalf of the Organizers and the International Fair Plovdiv, each exhibitor was awarded a Certificate of Participation. Awards were presented by RADM (Ret.) N. Nikolov, the Chairman of ‘Hemus-95’ Foundation and Mrs. Todorova, the Commercial Director at International Fair Plovdiv.