First DIH for Defence in Europe is Portuguese

2 July 2021

AED is a founding member of the first Digital Innovation Hub dedicated to the Defence sector in Europe: "Defence4Tech", already approved.

Last week, the Portuguese Government announced the approval of 17 Digital Innovation Hubs (DIHs).

Among these, there is the first hub created for the Defence sector in all of Europe: “Defence4Tech”. Led by idD Portugal Defence and having AED Cluster Portugal as a founding member, this hub will be crucial for the development and promotion of the defence companies’ technological fabric, contributing to the goal of digital reindustrialization that is intended to be achieved in Portugal and in Europe.

This DIH is dedicated to various domains related to Defence activities, including the sectors of Aeronautics, Space, Naval, Electronics or Communications Systems. The Defence4Tech consortium also includes the following entities:

Digital Innovation Hubs are an initiative of the European Commission (Digital Europe Program) and adopted by the Portuguese Government, with the purpose to accelerate the use of digital technologies by companies (in particular SMEs) and Public Administration, through a collaborative network (national and European) of innovation hubs.

These hubs will receive monetary incentives throughout the 2021-2027 Multiannual Financial Framework (up to 1 million euros per year), with the ultimate goal of increasing the competitiveness of the processes, products and services of the Portuguese business fabric. In the case of Defence4Tech Hub, the financial support can be doubled taking into account that it was designated for access to the European seal of the European Digital Innovation Hubs network.

The consortium of the Defence4Tech Hub settled as its main goals to:

  1. Enable experimentation, testing and evaluation of the potential impact of digital technologies at the stage before the investment decision;
  2. Promote capacity building and training in digital areas to enhance digital transformation and increase the skills of the workforce;
  3. Create a one-stop-shop structure that supports Defence Economy companies in accessing financing opportunities associated with digital technologies, namely in the search, preparation, presentation and monitoring of applications, in particular within the scope of the European Defence Fund;
  4. Act as a facilitator, bringing together industry, companies and Public Administration for the adoption of new technological solutions, enhancing the creation of start-ups and SMEs to provide digital solutions ready for the market;
  5. Help the Defence Economy SMEs to attract investment, ensuring better usability and accessibility in the digital context, reducing bureaucratic costs.
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