Defence4Tech Hub is the first Digital Innovation Hub fully dedicated to the European Defence Economy.

Defence4Tech Hub, led by idD Portugal Defence, is the product from a consortium with AED Cluster Portugal, UNINOVA, the Research and Development centres from the three branches of the Armed Forces and from the Portuguese Military University Institute (CINAMIL, CIAFA, CINAV and CIDIUM), University of Beira Interior, Nova School of Science and Technology, ISQ, CEiiA and DTx CoLAB.

Digital Innovation Hubs are a part of  Digital Europe Programme and their objective is to accelerate the dissemination and adoption of digital technologies by companies and the Public Administration, contributing to the increase in the competitiveness of their processes, products and services.

Defence4Tech Hub is a major instrument for the Defence Economy strategy that idD Portugal Defence is promoting, playing an important role in promoting the economic fabric and contributing to Europe’s re-industrialization plan.

Defence4Tech Hub was recognised as a high-quality project proposal in a highly competitive evaluation process following evaluation by an international panel of independent experts and was awarded the Seal of Excellence as an European Digital Innovation Hub by the European Commission.


idD Portugal Defence has the mission of executing defence sectorial policies, through the consolidation of a public business decision centre capable of leveraging new national and European financial instruments, in a line of value creation within the context of a new European Defence Policy. idD Portugal Defence is in charge of ensuring the connection between R&D research centres and Defence Economy. idD Portugal Defence is responsible for managing the national Defence Technological and Industrial Base.

UNINOVA (Instituto de Desenvolvimento de Novas Tecnologias), is a multidisciplinary, independent and non-profit research institute employing around 180 people, located in the metropolitan area of Lisbon. Founded in 1986 by the Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia da Universidade Nova de Lisboa (FCT-UNL), a group of industrial associations, a financial institution and 30 companies. It is currently an active partner of Mandan Parque, an accelerator and incubator and of Micro and SMEs. UNINOVA’s mission is to guarantee excellence in scientific research, technological development, advanced training and teaching. Partnerships with industry and academia, make possible the technological transfer of business innovations, as well as the development of products that meet the new industrial requirements. Due to the strong connection between the NOVA University and Madan Parque, UNINOVA has welcomed since its foundation and supported the development of several PhD theses, but also, in the creation of several companies.

AED Cluster Portugal (AEDCP) is the Portuguese Cluster for the Aeronautics, Space and Defence Industries and was created in 2016, as a private non-for-profit organization. In 2017, we received the label of “Strategic National Competitiveness Cluster” for Aeronautics, Space and Defence from the Portuguese Government, and in 2020 the Bronze label of excellence, awarded by the international certifying entity, ESCA (European Secretariat for Cluster Analysis). Involving already more than 80 entities established in Portugal, the Cluster gathers the main stakeholders from the three sectors, being able to act as an entry point and a one-stop-shop in Portugal, for all national and international players. AED Cluster Portugal strategic objectives lie within four main building blocks – Funding and Regulatory; People and Competences; Innovation and Value; Markets and Opportunities -, with a clear vision to promote the advancement and consolidation of Portugal as an international reference on the Aeronautics, Space and Defence global industries. The main role for AED Cluster Portugal will be focused on two of the main categories of services of the DIH, namely the Innovation ecosystem & networking and Support to find investments, levering our members, the extensive national and international network and consolidated knowledge of Defence related industrial activities, to get together all relevant stakeholders and help create the opportunities to introduce added-value products and services.

CIDIUM is the Military University Institute Research Centre, that has the role of coordination of the military R&D Centres: CINAV + CINAMIL + CIAFA. As a R&D Centre of a University Institution, promotes cooperation/association with other Universities, research centres, and commercial enterprises, transfer of knowledge from research to education courses and development of synergies amongst the Military R&D Centres as an aggregator of capacities and competencies that exist within the military and technical bodies of the Armed Forces.

CINAV is the Portuguese Navy Research Centre that supports the research conducted by the Portuguese Naval Academy and is the coordinator of the various maritime research projects related with the Navy and Maritime Authority.

CINAMIL is the Portuguese Military Academy Research Centre, that supports RTD at the Portuguese Army and the National Republican Guard.

CIAFA is the Air Force Academy Research Centre, a scientific research unit based on the premises of the Air Force Academy.

ISQ is a private non-profit association founded in 1965, declared Public Utility, and currently has more than 400 members, which include major references from national industry, SMEs, and other institutions that support the industry. ISQ is recognized at National level as Technological Interface Centre and has as its mission to make a decisive contribution to the modernization and competitiveness of Portugal and to the projection of Portuguese industry and services in Europe and the World, acting at a multisectoral level. The participation of ISQ in EDA (European Defence Agency) namely in the Materials CapTech group and the work carried out in the aeronautical sector in particular with Airbus Defence and Space (Madrid), allowed the development of digital solutions for simulating electromagnetic compatibility (virtual certification) and the development of customized test solutions for advanced composite materials paired with simulation of their behaviour. The background of ISQ in the support to the national industry in the digital transition is reflected in several flagship projects coordinated by ISQ and in collaboration with national authorities as IAPMEI as Shift2Future, SIM4.0 and PME Digital. ISQ will provide Research, Development and Innovation support for solutions for the digital transformation of companies and ensure the access to advanced technological infrastructures. The activities to be provided will include identification and development of professional profiles according to national or European references, apply new professional training methodologies making use of e-learning tools and platforms and lastly conduct training actions on advanced digital skills including virtual and augmented reality. Moreover, ISQ will have a role in the experimentation and dedicated testing of digital technologies including preliminary experimentation and testing in the pre-investment decision phase, validation of prototypes and demonstration of solutions, research/consultancy studies, proof of concept and scale up of solutions mainly related with remote monitoring systems and applied advanced materials used in defence assets.

C-MAST (Center for Mechanical and Aerospace Science and Technologies) is a research centre of UBI, recognized by the Science and Technology Foundation (FCT) for over 25 years, that organizes in two research groups (Materials and Aerospace Structures, Energy and Fluids) and in two transverse lines (Space Systems; Optimization of Production and Technology Innovation). C-MAST will make available its resources in HPC, qualification in advanced digital competences, additive manufacture, advanced materials and simulation.

CEiiA has a track record of over 15 years in successfully applying its design and engineering competences to deliver products and services including structural calculation, hardware-software co- design (focusing on security and safety), product design and advanced manufacturing (rapid prototyping, smart surfaces/intelligent materials, etc.). These design and engineering competences will be offered by the Defence4Tech and can be applied to deliver intelligent digital systems (robotics – in- situ observation vehicles, connectivity solutions, embedded systems, etc.) and data science solutions for monitoring and surveillance (AI and higher layers of CPS). CEiiA has been involved in several relevant projects, such as Horizon 2020 NAUTILOS in-situ observation project, ESA’s PhiSat-2 EO project, Defence’s TROANTE UAV project and Portugal 2020 mobilizing projects such as INFANTE Satellite, OceanTech in-situ observation vehicles development, ASTRIIS data management platform, among others, which are aligned with Defence4Tech.

NOVA University of Lisbon through the School of Science and Technology (FCT NOVA) is one of the most prestigious Portuguese and European engineering and science public schools. It is engaged in extensive research activity developed in 16 research centres involving 1600 PhD and Master’s students of the total enrolment of 8000. Regarding research outputs FCT NOVA has published about 12 000 papers indexed in Scopus and Web of Science (from 2015 to 2019, FCT NOVA published 4 787 papers), in top journals and conferences with high impact, where has earned recognition by its peers. FCT NOVA has a broad expertise in cutting edge R&D+I due to a multidisciplinary nature and strong experience in fundamental and applied research projects, ranging from materials, environment and biotechnologies to conservation and restoration. With a total of 630 academic staff and 200 non- academic staff, FCT NOVA’s has internationally recognised professionals due to their high potential in R&D+I activities, with researchers awarded ERC grants (8 in total) and merit prizes. FCT NOVA has been awarded with 32 projects in H2020 (~16,5M€). This shows the visibility and competitiveness ofthe school at International level and its strong experience in collaborative projects, working with partners from all over the world. FCT NOVA brings all the technical and scientific competences in the areas of Engineering and Science concerned to the Defence sector.

The DTx Digital Transformation CoLab aims to address the new paradigms in products, services, and human machine interface and the consequent changes in industry and the society, fostering collaborative research and technological development between multidisciplinary academic knowledge and wide range of industrial competences.

DTx is a Non-profit Association, with 18 participating entities (partners): 3 universities (involving 11 FCT R&D), 1 international research laboratory, 1 innovation centre and 13 companies; and 2 interface units as associated partners. The activities are developed in three main poles: Minho (Braga – Guimarães), Matosinhos and Évora.

DTx adopt a clear emphasis on the development of cyber-physical-systems (CPS)-based products (product-systems) with enhanced value through a high level of technology integration.

In this context, DTx projects address digitalization both in product design, systems development and manufacturing solutions, and will be selected according to the CoLab technological roadmaps and to the partners’ challenges.

DTx is also concerned with the behaviour and cultural changes, either planned or emergent, that the development of CPS implies in organizations, industries, networks and society. As cultural and behavioural challenges are significant barriers to digital effectiveness, the CoLab assess and renew behaviour, communicational and relational approaches, methods and techniques for industries and societies digitally transformed.

If you are interested in contacting Defence4Tech Hub, send us an email to Defence4Tech [@]

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