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Jonas Zolkén, Executive Director of ISDEF, recently gave Mönch Online News (MON) an exclusive interview in Tel Aviv, in advance of this year’s iteration of Israel’s largest defence- and security-related trade show.

MON: How would you describe ISDEF 2019 to a stranger?

Jonas Zolkén (JZ): ISDEF is Israel's premiere and largest international defence, homeland security and cyber trade show. This year we are celebrating our 10th anniversary, and the expo is set to be the largest yet! ISDEF has catered to the needs of the military, police, special operations forces, security agencies and homeland security organisations by exposing them to the latest products and solutions provided by innovative defence and security companies worldwide since 2007.

MON: What is it about ISDEF 2019 that is attracting so many more companies – especially large foreign companies?

JZ: ISDEF 2019 is attracting so many large foreign companies because we invite and bring the most relevant attendees and the most relevant delegations. We host both general and industry-specific workshops, in addition to bringing in multi-disciplinary experts to speak on the most pertinent topics within the realms of traditional defence and defence 3.0 …the intersection of national security, homeland security, cyber security, irregular warfare, defence and technology.

MON: Why is the ISDEF model conducive to the success of national pavilions?

JZ: The ISDEF model is very conducive to national pavilions’ success, due to a number of factors. Perhaps the main factor is our special ability to listen to the requirements and needs of the pavilion participants and deliver on their requests. We go the extra mile and strive to bring only the very best and most relevant delegations in order to ensure that pavilion participants not only maximise their return on investment, but that the connections they make are solid and long term. This allows them to focus on their primary goals and not to have to think about the extra variables involved. There are sound business reasons that the Czech Republic, United States, India, and China continue to host national pavilions at ISDEF. It is also worth mentioning that ISDEF was hosted by Japan in 2018 and had a very successful exhibition there.

MON: What are the hot topics for seminar sessions at ISDEF 2019?

JZ: Some of the hot topics for seminar sessions include, but are not limited to: cyber security in the civil sector – implementation and regulation; border control challenges in the 21st century; countering tomorrow’s UAV threats without harming public safety; mega-event protection: what to focus on and how to overcome challenges; critical infrastructure protection 3.0; land, maritime and cyberspace; mitigating CBRN threats; analysis, prediction and prevention; and the weaponisation of social media - its use and influence in conflict.

MON: Where can people find out more about ISDEF 2019?

JZ: Individuals and organisations alike can find out more about the advantages of exhibiting at and attending ISDEF by following us on social media (@ISDEFexpo): we are very active and responsive on all platforms. Visit our website at http://www.isdefexpo.com

Jonas Zolkén, Executive Director of ISDEF. (Photo: ISDEF)

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