Currently, more than three-quarters of companies in the European Union report difficulties in finding workers with the necessary skills, while only 37% of adults participate in regular training. The Defence sector is no exception to this trend. The rapid pace of technological evolution is drastically changing the labour market.
Developing educational content for the workforce of the near future is essential. Furthermore, many misconceptions surround defence activities; however, this industry consistently operates at the forefront of innovation, offering the most advanced technologies and a highly international and multidisciplinary environment.
The Alliance for Strategic Skills addressing Emerging Technologies in Defence (ASSETs+) was launched in January 2020, for a four-year period. ASSETs+ is an Erasmus+ project -the European Union’s programme to support education, training, youth and sport in Europe-, and member of the Pact For Skills a shared engagement model for skills development in Europe, whose objective is the development of competences and abilities, thus taking on, together with other participating actors, a key role in the action of European social policies.
Coordinated by the University of Pisa (Italy), the project is built on close collaboration between the Defence Industry, sectoral organizations, Higher Education Institutions, Vocational Education and Training providers and research centres, with 30 partners from 8 countries and a broad ecosystem of stakeholders.
We are proud to highlight the main results we have achieved together during these four years.
TECHNOLOGY & SKILLS ANALYSIS
The analysis carried out within the context of the ASSETs+ project focuses on three primary technological areas in the defence sector: Robotics, Artificial Intelligence and Autonomous Systems; C4ISTAR and Cybersecurity.
The results are derived from an extensive process of data integration, incorporating information gathered through data-driven analysis, brainstorming sessions, project reviews, and validation from industry experts. The work was also complemented by additional in-depth analyses on roadmapping. Subsequently, the insights gathered led the team to develop professional profiles related to the defence sector that can be incorporated within the European Classification of competencies and occupations.
Lastly, relevant defence-related projects and initiatives at European, national, and regional levels have been monitored and mapped to provide an overview of skills development activities in the defence sector.
Job Profiles, Skills and Technologies Roadmapping
Capability Driven Approach leveraging on Natural Language Processing & Human-in-the-Loop
EDUCATION & TRAINING
ASSETs+ has designed education & training programmes to provide professionals (Defence & AeroSpace) as well as undergraduate and graduate students, with new skills related to key technologies that will be expected in the Defence sector in the coming years, most notably: Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, C4ISTAR and Cybersecurity. These programmes are built on active pedagogical approaches like projectbased learning, summer schools, challenges, e-learning.
EUROPEAN DEFENCE CHALLENGE
The ASSETs+ European Defence Challenge is an open competition to attract young talent to the Defence industry and to encourage them to initiate a career in defence-related technologies. The challenge invites European students to propose one or more work approaches dealing with topics such as: “Which technologies and technology bricks are particularly relevant for Europe’s sovereignty in defence and security?”; “Remote everything? To what extent can unmanned assets interact with humans in the field for defence operations?”; “Security – threats identification and defence strategies”; “Leading through Complexity: Effective Management in Defence Environment”.