Ms. Andrea Rojas, Coordinadora Grupo de Cooperacion Industrial y Social - Offset, Ministerio de Defensa Nacional Republica de Colombia gave an exclusive interview to Epicos, regarding offsets in Colombia. Amongst others she stated that: "In line with the new science, technology and innovation policy, the MOD will be focusing on certain key areas: Radars, Simulators, Propulsion, Land tactical mobility, Aerospace, Combat systems, Energy efficiency, Satellites, Health. Offsets will be one of the tools used to develop projects in these areas; they share specific characteristics such as: sustainability, duality, being cross-sectional and addressing a real necessity of the services… ".
1. What are the main targets of the Colombian offset policy?
The Colombian Offset policy was established according to the 2007-2010 National Development Plan, and set out general and specific objectives as part of the governmental initiative of building a more competitive country.
The general aim of this policy is to make it possible for Colombia to acquire industrial, economic and commercial benefits derived from offsets.
The policy specifically aims to meet the following goals:
1. Self-sufficiency in the life cycle of military equipment; aiming for the services to gain capabilities in maintenance and modernisation of their equipment.
2. Industrial returns on materials and electronics; ensuring that companies improve their capabilities in these fields through key technology transfer.
Finally, offsets can be an opportunity to support national social policy.
In addition, in line with the new science, technology and innovation policy, the MOD will be focusing on certain key areas:
•Land tactical mobility
Offsets will be one of the tools used to develop projects in these areas; they share specific characteristics such as: sustainability, duality, being cross-sectional and addressing a real necessity of the services. 2. Is there a plan for a new directive or an amendment to the current policy in the near future?
In August 2011 a new directive was approved. This directive compiles previous offset directives, follows the guidelines established in the CONPES (CONPES is the acronym in Spanish for National Economic and Social Policy) and explains the selection process for offset receptors in a more detailed manner. 3. Could you briefly describe the main principles for evaluation and approval for an offset receptor?
The Colombian offset policy establishes that the foreign companies have to choose the receptor of the project, as an assurance of transparency, viability and permanency of the long-term project. In no case the Ministry of National Defence, will be able to impose the receptor. Obligors are the ones who choose the receptor based on an objective and diligent selection that allows to guarantee the complete fulfilment of the project. 4. What are the key elements a proposed offset program should have in order to be in line with the Colombian offset policy and be successful?
Projects should be aligned with the policy’s objectives and may touch on, but should not necessarily be restricted to, the areas mentioned previously.
One of the elements that can make a proposal successful is a high component of technology transfer that will make it possible to substitute imports and diminish delivery time, allow technological integration to take place and reinforce the present capabilities. 5. Offsets are aimed at supporting the sustainable development of the national Aerospace, Defence and High Technology industry of the country. Are there any offset programs that you would like to present as “success stories” for the above?
“Modernisation of the T-27 airplane”
Through this project, Colombia is going to be able to modernise the T-27 airplane in CIAC's (La Corporacion de la Industria Aeronautica Colombiana) installations. CIAC will in turn become the only authorised entity to modernise these airplanes in the world. The project includes designs, technical specifications and procedures to manufacture the components of the aeronautical support equipment for this activity.
“Computer based training”
In this project, a national private company has acquired the capability to develop computer based training (CBT). This company has provided the Air Force with the first CBT for a C-295 airplane and is now working with other services on developing other types of CBT for different equipment.
“Training, production and development of machine gun mountings”
This project gave a Colombian company the technology to produce mountings for the installation of MK44 machine guns in HUEY II helicopters that belong to the Air Force. The company has now sold the mountings to other services in Colombia.