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Industrial Partnerships Play a Key Role at Interdisciplinary Centre for Defence and Security

05 Jun. 2024
The Centre Interdisciplinaire d’Études pour la Défense et la Sécurité Interdisciplinary Centre for Defence and Security) at IP Paris will be holding its CIEDS Operation Day on July 4, bringing together researchers, students, companies and personnel from the French Ministry of the Armed Forces. This event provides an opportunity to review the Center's main missions and highlight the crucial role that industrial partners play in technology transfer.
Industrial Partnerships Play a Key Role at Interdisciplinary Centre for Defence and Security

Supported by the French Ministry of Armed Forces and the Agence de l’innovation de défense (Defense Innovation Agency), the CIEDS coordinates the defense and security activities of the Institut Polytechnique de Paris.

For the second consecutive year, it is organizing a day of discussions between researchers, students, personnel from the Ministry of Armed Forces, and partners—companies, funding agencies, and national research organizations (ONR)—focused on defense issues. The event, scheduled for July 4th, will feature thematic workshops, roundtable discussions, and expert presentations.

"Created in March 2021 with the support of the Ministry of Armed Forces, the CIEDS aims to address the scientific and technological challenges in the defense sector through research, innovation, and education," recalls Thierry Coulhon, interim president of IP Paris.

Two Major Missions

The CIEDS has two major missions. The first is to develop disruptive technologies with high added value for defense, The second is to instill a strong awareness of defense issues within all communities at IP Paris, including faculty, researchers, students, and staff.

David Filliat, the scientific director of CIEDS, sums up the first mission in three words: target, research, transfer. "We identify breakthrough scientific and technological systems for defense operators in partnership with the Agence de l’innovation de défense. We fund cutting-edge research within IP Paris laboratories in these areas of interest. Finally, we make the technologies quickly accessible to companies and support the scaling-up process," he explains.

Innovative materials, robotics, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, digital security, biological threat detection, and combatant care are some of the CIEDS's research areas.

Exploring these strategic fields leads to scientific publications that adhere to open science principles. However, they may involve utilizing intellectual property tools, such as classified technical dossiers, which explains the confidentiality of some of this work.

The Challenge of Industrial Partnerships

To fulfill its missions, the CIEDS forms industrial partnerships aimed at accelerating the transfer of technologies to businesses and ensuring the scaling-up to a transition to a pre-industrialization phase.

"These partnerships are an essential link in strengthening the Defense Industrial and Technological Base – the DITB – by offering it subjects for scientific revitalization, but above all, by supporting co-constructed projects. This co-construction is based on the scientific proposals of researchers, the expectations of the AID, and the willingness of industrialists to support the maturity of results," says François Plais, CIEDS Operations Director. "In doing so, the CIEDS aims to contribute to France's strategic autonomy by supporting its DITB."

From Dassault Aviation to Safran, from Airbus to Nexter, a KNDS company, from Thales to Naval Group, in total, CIEDS has forged around fifteen partnerships in aerospace, space, armaments for ground forces, and defense naval construction. 

In June 2023, a teaching and research chair on complex systems architecture was thus created at IP Paris. Among its partners and sponsors are Dassault Aviation, Dassault Systèmes, Naval Group, Nexter, and the AID.

In the defense sector in particular, industrial and operational systems must be robust, secure, and designed to evolve with new technologies over long periods. Given the stakes related to national sovereignty in defense matters, the Chair of Complex Systems Architecture therefore focuses on teaching and research. 

However, beyond the companies of the DITB and its defense use cases, these partnerships also find their fruition in applications serving the entire society.

Founded in November 2022 in the healthcare sector, the startup Plasana Medical is working on a medical device designed to heal chronic wounds and severe burns. To rebuild damaged tissue, it uses cold plasmas, ionized gases created by small electrical discharges. 

This project, which started out as fundamental research, was supported from the outset by the DGA (Direction Générale de l'Armement) and then the AID. It aims to be a true bridge between academic research and industry.

"After a little over three years of operation, and based on around fifty major ongoing research projects, CIEDS now aspires to establish long-term, structured partnerships with industries in the DITB. By the end of the year, the center will collaborate with selected partners, through letters of intent, to define the roadmaps of these partnerships concerning research, training, innovation, and associated support modalities. The July 4th event will facilitate the initiation or continuation of discussions on these objectives," concludes François Plais.