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Technology Watch and Foresight System

SOPT

The Technology Watch and Foresight System (SOPT) was created in 2003 by the General Directorate of Armament and Materiel (DGAM), part of the Ministry of Defence, as an element of the Under-Directorate for Planning, Technology and Innovation (SDG PLATIN). The SOPT has three main missions:

  • Provide advice regarding strategic planning of R&D activities in the short, medium and long term.
  • Provide advice regarding the procurement of highly technological systems.
  • Act as depositary for technological corporate knowledge.

In order to fulfill these missions, SOPT systematically carries out the following functions:

  • Technological evaluation: SOPT evaluates the technological aspects of R&D projects, programs and activities proposals, as well as the different phases of the process required to obtain highly technological systems. It also regularly evaluates R&D efforts and its results.
  • Technology watch: SOPT searches for, acquires and processes information regarding technologies of interest for defence. It also carries out these activities regarding on-going or foreseen R&D activities (national and international) and technological capacities of the national technological and industrial base.
  • Technological foresight: SOPT identifies trends, advances and future technological challenges to help orientate, along with the specifically military needs and requirements, future R&D endeavors in the field of defence.
  • Technological knowledge management: SOPT identifies and manages the organization’s technological knowledge and information, so that in can be used as a corporate asset in the Ministry of Defence.
  • Technological prioritization: SOPT supports the Material Resources Planning, establishing technological priorities and identifying the strategic technological capacities of the national technological and industrial base.
  • Dissemination of technological information: SOPT disseminates information of technologies of interest for the Ministry of Defence, both internally and in the national technological and industrial base (companies, universities, etc.), providing a guidance to R&D providers on the Ministry’s technological needs.

SOPT is structured into Technological Observatories, one for each defence technological area of interest, and a Management Node in charge of coordinating, managing and supporting their operations.

SOPT has currently ten active Technological Observatories:

  • Weapons, munitions, ballistics and protection
  • CBRN defence
  • Electronics
  • Energy and propulsion
  • Materials
  • Optics, optronics and nanotechnology
  • Land systems
  • Naval systems
  • Information, communications and simulation technologies
  • UAVs, robotics and aerial systems

The Technological Observatories have a wide network of collaborators including experts from the Ministry of Defence and other public agencies and from the national technological and industrial base. These experts add great value to the Observatories as they provide their knowledge and experience to the SOPT’s different tasks.

SOPT Publications

Bulletin number 32

In order to fulfill its task of disseminating technological information, SOPT has several instruments to publicize the information it registers and processes in the course of its activities. The most outstanding ones are its publications: The Defence Technology Watch Bulletin and the SOPT Monographic Studies (single-issue technical in-depth studies).

  • Defence Technology Watch Bulletin: Its purpose is to publicize and explain initiatives, projects and technologies of interest in the defence field. With more than 30 issues published since 2003, it is one of SOPT’s most important tools for disseminating technological information. Participation in this publication is open to any expert or collaborator whose contribution is considered of interest in the field of these new technologies.
  • SOPT Monographic Studies: In depth studies of areas of special interest for the defence sector. Eleven issues have been published to this date on a wide range of subjects (UAV, NEC, GaN and SiC semiconductors, metamaterials, etc.)

To access SOPT publications, please click on the following link

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