The Virtual Presentation of the 8th Edition of the National Congress on R&D in Defence and Security (DESEi+d 2020) and the Isdefe R&D Book Award took place on 30 June at an event organised by the General Directorate of Military Recruitment and Training (DIGEREM), the General Directorate of Armament and Materiel (DGAM), the Zaragoza University Centre for Defence and Isdefe.
The event, broadcast from Isdefe’s headquarters, featured over 250 virtual attendees, a sign of the great interest that exists in the National Congress on R&D in Defence and Security.
In their opening addresses, Mr Francisco Quereda Rubio, Isdefe’s CEO, and Admiral Santiago Ramón González Gómez, the Ministry of Defence’s General Director of Armament and Materiel (DGAM), both recalled those who have suffered the consequences of the health crisis and thanked the Armed Forces for their work during this pandemic through Operation Balmis. They also acknowledged all the institutions and professionals who have played a key role in the continuing fight against COVID-19.
Isdefe’s CEO noted that the Company “has contributed in this process by supporting the Armed Forces and the Ministry of Defence units, such as CESTIC, the UME, the EMAD and other organisations of the national government that have helped to alleviate the situation”.
He also stated that this Congress overlaps the project to develop European defence, and noted the importance of the Congress in promoting the idea of collaboration between the industry actors involved in R&D, highlighting the need to look for an end user for new R&D developments.
Finally, Quereda pointed out how, as a company that seeks to be at the cutting edge, supporting innovation and development is in “Isdefe’s DNA”, which is why Isdefe had backed this Congress from the start, and created the Isdefe R&D Award in its fourth edition.
In his remarks, Admiral Santiago Ramón González Gómez, General Director of Armament and Materiel (DGAM), recalled that when the Congress was created in 2012, “Spain had no national event at which to present the latest technological advances involving the world of defence and security, and no setting in which technology developers, companies, universities and research centres were able to share these ideas with the end users, the personnel of the Armed Forces and law enforcement agencies”.
The DGAM thanked the organisations involved in the Congress for their commitment and effort, for maintaining, year after year, “that initial spirit of striving to be the main national forum for discussing innovation in the areas of defence and security”, achieving in each edition the goal of having “the various parties involved in the development of dual defence and security technologies get to know one another, compare opinions and ideas and seek to collaborate as a necessary part of advancing as a society”.
A summary of the 7th edition of DESEi+d was provided by Major General José Luis Murga Martínez, Deputy Director General of Planning, Technology and Innovation at DGAM, who noted that, in 2019, “a total of 144 presentations were made over the course of five sessions held in seven rooms in parallel, a significant number considering the Congress took place over three days”.
MGEN Murga highlighted the importance of the three plenary sessions that considered a strategic aspect by involving individuals from various public and private R&D institutions, “who shone a light on the new relationships that must be forged between the various actors involved in developing defence and security technologies or who work on the strategic challenges facing them”.
The success of the congress, he concluded, was evidenced by the high participation rate, with over 400 people registered and a daily attendance of over 300.
Mr Jesús Alonso Martín, the Director of Business Development at Isdefe, presented the book on the 2019 R&D “Antonio Torres” Isdefe Award, which contains the ten top papers from DESEi+d 2019, with the paper leading off the volume being from the winner of the Fourth Edition of the Award. The award, after a two-round process involving the presentations made at DESEi+d 2019, was presented to Mr Antonio J. Conesa Torres, from the National Institute of Aerospace Technology (INTA), for his paper on “Plasma Actuators and Their Use in Aeronautics”.
At the end of his presentation, the Director of Business Development proposed a challenge: “Let’s work to make the DESEi+d a benchmark not only nationally in the area of defence and security R&D, but on the European stage as well. Let’s show Europe what we know and that we’re eager to do it”. And a commitment: “A clear offer from Isdefe to DIGEREM to organise this congress and the official call for the 5th edition of the Isdefe R&D Award as part of the 2020 DESEi+d Congress”.
Major General Pedro José García Cifo, Deputy Director General of Military Training, revealed that the 8th edition of the National Congress on R&D in Defence and Security – DESEi+d 2020 – will be held at the Basic Air Academy of Leon from 24 to 26 November in a blended format. This location takes on special significance because this year is the centenary of the first four air bases, including the Military Aerodrome of Leon, where the Basic Air Academy is located.
Closing out the event was Ms María Amparo Valcarce García, Director General of Military Recruitment and Training (DIGEREM), from the Ministry of Defence, and who, starting on 1 July, was appointed Assistant Secretary of State for Defence. She was replaced at DIGEREM by Air Force Major General Pedro José García Cifo.
The current Assistant Secretary of State for Defence recognised and acknowledged all the professionals from various areas who collaborated decisively in the fight against COVID-19.
Ms Amparo Valcarce began by noting that “the recent complexity of technology systems of interest to the Armed Forces, combined with the need to shorten the development time for these systems, has gradually required us to adopt a constant research, development and innovation process if we want to remain competitive on the international stage”.
For the Assistant Secretary of State for Defence, “an advanced country like Spain needs its own powerful Defence and Security industry that is not only competitive, but efficient, both in terms of investments and of recovering resources”. Achieving this goal is possible if the capabilities of the entire research network are integrated.
The knowledge, education, research and innovation triangle on which the creation of DESEi+d was founded must be reinforced in this 2020 edition, with a special emphasis on the role of “universities and industry”.
Space and Cyberspace will be the main fields at this 8th congress, to be held in Leon, which will “open up huge opportunities for our researchers” by letting them connect to “a corporate sector that is increasingly interested in a defence industry in which Spain still has a lot to say in the areas of space and cyberspace”.
To watch a video of the event, click here: