The Consortium of Engineering Schools (CEE) and idD Portugal Defence signed on 12 April a memorandum of understanding to promote greater links between universities, research centres and companies in the Defense Economy – including the Aeronautical, Space and Defense industries – with the aim of strengthening the country’s strategic autonomy and boosting economic growth, qualified employment and exports.
The first project resulting from this memorandum is the Arsenal Academy, which will also involve Arsenal do Alfeite and the Association of Naval Industries and which aims to develop a set of programs with the objective of qualifying professionals in the naval industry, attracting and retaining senior staff, namely at degree, master’s and doctoral levels, and promoting innovation in the naval cluster by strengthening the link between industry and academia.
The Arsenal Academy is an initiative that will contribute to the achievement of the objective of the Sea Component of the Recovery and Resilience Plan, namely through the creation of employment associated with training and acquisition of skills, attraction of new companies and creation of new technological development clusters. This new pole of excellence has its roots in the training school that operated for decades in Alfeite, now serving the entire naval cluster with the development of training and teaching programs in the area of engineering, with a view to strengthening technical and scientific knowledge and skills. The first Arsenal Academy courses will be launched in the 4th quarter of 2021.
“The Arsenal Academy will function as a platform that aims to ensure continued participation in technological and scientific development and the qualification and enhancement of human resources for organizations in the naval cluster. The strengthening and consolidation of knowledge, skills and experience is planned, as well as post-graduate and research opportunities involving also the students and Alumni of the schools that integrate the CEE and other schools with relevant experience”, said João Falcão e Cunha, executive director of the Engineering Schools Consortium.
Also according to those responsible for signing this memorandum, “the protocol signed is a response to the strategic plan for Arsenal do Alfeite in that it will ensure the training, motivation and availability of young engineers for the development of work in innovation and operational efficiency, as well as the creation of elements of high technological qualification to integrate the modernization and maintenance projects to be developed with a view to creating a naval cluster.
In addition to the Arsenal Academy, the memorandum of understanding between idD Portugal Defence and the Consortium of Engineering Schools foresees the creation of an Aeronautical Academy. Prof. Virgílio Machado, Director of FCT NOVA, will coordinate, in representation of the Consortium of Engineering Schools, the projects within the scope of the MoU. At the School of Engineering of the University of Minho, the contact point will be the Vice-President in charge of Interaction with Society; Communication & Image; HR Management and Quality of Life, Professor Estela Bicho Erlhagen.
The ceremony was attended by the Minister of National Defence, João Gomes Cravinho, and the Minister of the Sea, Ricardo Serrão Santos.