‘GCAP Acceleration Initiative’ an open innovation project launched to support development of future system of systems

12 April 2023

The opening, until 19 May, of over 40 technology exploration calls, in an open innovation approach, allows the proposal of innovative solutions for the ‘GCAP Acceleration Initiative’ launched by the Italian Ministry of Defence and promoted in partnership with Cefriel - Milan Polytechnic University’s Centre for Digital Innovation, AIAD - National Organisation of Italian Companies for Aerospace, Defence and Security - Leonardo, as a strategic partner of the Global Combat Air Programme (GCAP) programme, and the leading companies in the industry domains, Avio Aero, Elettronica, and MBDA Italia.

The ‘GCAP Acceleration Initiative’ aims to speed up technological innovation by inviting startups, companies, research centres and national universities to propose solutions for application in the various components of the system of systems created under the GCAP.

Cefriel has developed the Foresight Acceleration Platform, a digital portal for scouting proposals through the periodic launch of market explorations, to feed and strengthen the network of technological excellence and the entire Italian economic ecosystem. Leonardo, open innovation leader and a strategic partner of the GCAP programme, and Avio Aero, Elettronica and MBDA Italia, together with Cefriel, Cefriel - Milan Polytechnic University’s Centre for Digital Innovation, will manage and promote these projects.

The ‘Foresight AP’ portal hosts different types of open calls responding to the programme’s specific technological maturity needs, to develop innovative solutions alongside the Italian industry network.

The areas and topics of the technological explorations will be the propulsion system, optical and laser systems, IR (infrared) sensors, low-observable or high thermal performance materials and metamaterials, navigation systems, model generation and digital twin development of aeronautical systems, artificial intelligence applied to managing autonomous systems and mission systems, cyber security and integrated electronic devices.

The GCAP, an international cooperation programme involving Italy, the UK and Japan, seeks to build a system of systems based on next-generation air combat technologies and platforms for multi-domain operations.

Italian industrial partners in the programme already work with universities, research centres, SMEs, startups and other companies to boost mutual exchange and skills growth and support national defence.

Startups, innovative companies, companies of all sizes and research teams can present innovative solutions in response to different market explorations. Thus, they can develop and implement their technological offer, working with Leonardo, Avio Aero, Elettronica and MBDA Italia on defence initiatives.

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