ASSETS+: training for defence

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ASSETs+ (Alliance for Strategic Skills addressing Emerging Technologies in Defence) was launched in January 2020, for a four-year period. It is part of an overall European strategy to "address the skills gap" in areas deemed a priority by the European Commission.

Photo : ASSETS+ is the only consortium financed by the Erasmus+ programme for Defence © ASSETS+
ASSETS+ is the only consortium financed by the Erasmus+ programme for Defence © ASSETS+

In a nutshell:

  • Call for projects: Erasmus+
  • Budget: 4 million euros
  • Project duration: 4 years 


An original project on a European scale

ASSETS+ is the only consortium funded by the Erasmus+ programme for Defence. With a seeding fund of nearly 4 million euros, the project aims to develop training programmes adapted to the sector's changing needs.
Coordinated by the University of Pisa (Italy), it unites 30 organisations from 8 different countries: 9 academic partners (including the University of Bordeaux in relation with Bordeaux INP), industrialists and clusters from the various Defence sectors, as well as vocational teaching and training establishments.

ASSETS+ places us in a European dynamic that links technology watch, industry and higher education in order to develop innovative and open training programmes at the University of Bordeaux for emerging technologies. 

Joanne Pagèze - Vice-President for internationalisation

Training programmes adapted to Defence in the future 

ASSETS+ aims to offer training programmes (from secondary school level through higher education) that correspond to the evolutions and challenges of Defence in the future, based on teaching methods that can be adapted and easily reproduced at the European level.
These programmes may take on the form of project-based learning, summer schools, challenges, e-learning or even services making it easier to network with the industrial sector.

The European Commission has stated two major goals for  Defence:

  • maintain its position of leader, its competitiveness and its sustainability in the mid- and long-term
  • identify the existing and future skills needs for the professions in the Defence industry, which is a major generator of technological innovation but which is struggling to attract young professionals.

Multi-stage deployment

Following the initial stage aimed at identifying and analysing technological evolutions, applications, key skills and job profiles, the consortium partners set about defining the programmes.
This phase focused both on content related to robotics, artificial intelligence, autonomous systems and cybersecurity, and on the most suitable teaching methods to be implemented.

The third project stage underway since June 2021 and coordinated by the University of Bordeaux, is focusing on the implementation of prototype programmes for an estimated 20-month duration.

Finally, the last phase will study the possibilities of replicating these programmes on a European scale as well as the certification modalities for the different professions. The consortium also has the role of developing a strategic plan for the skills required by the sector over the long term, beyond the Erasmus+ funding.

A European Defence Challenge for students

The European Defence Challenge is an opportunity for students to use their skills in the field of cybersecurity, autonomous systems, robotics, artificial intelligence, signal and image processing, control and electronics.

The originality of the challenge lies in the fact that students will not be asked to develop new software, create a new algorithm or design an electronic device, but instead to give their point of view on a given topic via a one-page document.

This year's topic is: Remote everything? To what extent can unmanned assets interact with humans in the field for defence operations?

Learn more

Seasonal School: Machine Learning for Defence 2022

From January to March 2022, the Bordeaux campus ran the prototype of the "Seasonal School – Machine Learning for Defence" programme.

By way of courses and a group project as well as conferences and discussions with professionals from the Defence sector, students were able to learn about and further their knowledge in the field of artificial intelligence. 


  • Joanne Pagèze

    Vice-President for internationalisation

  • Eric Grivel

    Project Coordinator on the Bordeaux campus

  • Marie Raoul

    Project Manager