Security, defence, space

Head of the programme: Jean-Pierre Darnis
Research team: Cristian Barbieri, Vincenzo Camporini, Federica Di Camillo, Sophie Falsini, Daniele Fattibene, Alessandro Marrone, Michele Nones, Nicolò Sartori, Paola Sartori, Stefano Silvestri, Alessandro Ungaro

The IAI Security, Defence, Space (SDS) Programme works at the crossroad of four strands: the policies adopted by national and international institutions and organizations in the security and defence field; the relevant industrial and technological dynamics; the operational developments in the military and civil security areas; the politico-strategic interaction in the Euro-Atlantic framework. This represents a unique expertise in Italy.

The SDS Programme has developed a decade-long experience on EC-funded projects, already since the Sixth Framework Programme through the Seventh one up to Horizon 2020. At the same time, the Institute has performed research activities for the European Defence Agency, the European Parliament, the European Space Agency, NATO and various Italian and foreign actors, both public e private ones. Moreover, since the 2000s regular analysis are published on the IAI website regarding European defence as well as defence budgets and industry.

The SDS team runs research projects, writes and edits scientific publications, and organizes both public conferences and closed-door seminars, on the basis of a multidisciplinary approach looking at the strategic, political, institutional, legal, economic, operational and technical aspects of the subject of analysis. The subjects include internal security, Italy’s defence policy, Italian and European space policy, the aerospace, defence and security industry, l’Europe de la défense and the EU Common Security and Foreign Policy (CSFP), NATO and Euro-Atlantic security, international security.

Through the years, the SDS Programme has built-up a wide network of relations with Italian institutions (the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, the Parliament, the Ministries of Defence, Foreign Affairs, Economic Development), as well as European and transatlantic organizations, and interlocutors from the private sector in Europe. Such a network ranges from policy-makers to end-users, also through the researchers’ active participation in platforms for research and development. At the same time, the S&D team has cooperated with more than 100 think tanks, institutes and universities in Europe, North America and EU neighbourhood – a cooperation resulted in various research projects and studies in recent years.

The current reality of SDS Programme builds upon an tradition initiated back in 1967 with the first IAI research activities on security issues, at that time carried out in partnership with major American and Western European think tanks. Through the following decades, the research focus has included different but complementary issues, from the Cold War-era NATO “southern flank” to the European integration process in the defence field developed in the 1990s.

Currently, the SDS Programme relies on 10 in house researchers, by ensuring a proper mix of senior and junior expertise. They work together in various research groups flexibly tailored according to the subject of analysis. Today, such modus operandi allows the S&D Programme to simultaneously work on more than 20 research projects in a synergic way.