Senior Science for Peace and Security Advisor Claudio Palestini addresses the audience at the SPS Information Day in Madrid, Spain. Photo courtesy of NATO

NATO and Spain engage in practical cooperation on science

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NATO experts and researchers from across Spain gathered in Madrid on Sept. 13, 2023 to explore opportunities for scientific cooperation under the Alliance’s Science for Peace and Security (SPS) Program.

The Information Day, which was organised in cooperation with Spain’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation; the Ministry of Science and Innovation; and the Ministry of Defence, aimed to highlight the achievements of SPS projects in which Spain has participated and facilitate the launch of new research and development activities.

Approximately 100 scientists joined the Information Day, held at the Centre for the Development of Technology and Innovation in Madrid, to discuss the remarkable results of more than 100 SPS activities over the past 40 years that have benefited from the contributions of Spanish researchers and the future direction of the SPS Programme. The event included SPS-hosted sessions on how to develop successful project proposals, evaluation criteria and thematic areas of interest, and how to implement result-oriented research and development activities. In return, scientists shared direct testimonials of their experience working on SPS projects. Discussions about their different personal stories, achievements and experiences in their fields of expertise led to new multidisciplinary ideas in the areas of interest for the Alliance that could be pursued in the framework of upcoming SPS calls for proposals – the next of which will be launched in the fall of 2023 via the SPS website.

Among other topics, scientists outlined the progress and accomplishments in the field of emerging and disruptive technologies (EDT), such as efforts to increase the security of communications networks by connecting scientific communities that are currently researching different approaches to tackle the problem. By finding ways to integrate Post-Quantum Cryptography (PQC) and Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) approaches into a single solution, SPS-supported researchers are making strides towards increasing the ability to secure communications from intruders and eavesdroppers. Further presentations highlighted the results of activities aimed at using advanced sensing technologies to facilitate the detection of improvised explosive devices (IED) by police and security providers, as well as to identify biological and chemical hazards using mobile laboratories. 

According to NATO, the SPS Program provides “opportunities for academics, experts and officials in Spain, as well as other NATO member and partner countries, to develop proposals for innovative scientific projects.”

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