Centres of excellence

The centres of excellence are physical entities which carry out research works still partially located today but entirely tomorrow at the junction of strategic research objectives (Ti) and niches (Ni):
The centres of excellence within the Ministry of Defence are:
    1. the RMA’s DYnamic MAterial behaviour for SECurity applications (DYMASEC);
    2. the RMA’s MObile INtelligence Information Sensors for Security (MOBINISS) – land, air and sea mobility;
    3. the RMA’s Signal, Systems & Sensors, Information & Intelligence, Communication (SIC);
    4. the RMA’s European Pool for Nuclear Fusion located at the Laboratory for Plasma Physics (LPP);
    5. the RMA’s General Approach of Armed Forces Operations Pool (AAG);
    6. the RMA’s Ethics and Deontology Pool (ETD);
    7. the RMA’s European Security Pool (SecEU):
Sub-pool European Defence Co-operation:
      1. Risk, Crisis & Disaster Management (RCDM);
      2. Human Factors & Military Operations (HF);
      3. International History & Relations (RI);
      4. Support to policy-making (SP)
Sub-pool Industrial and Technological Co-operation (CIT) ;
Sub-pool Economic and Strategic Intelligence (IES) ;
  1. the Defence Laboratories (DLD);
  2. the Central Hospital Base Queen Astrid (HCB-KA);
  3. the RHID’s Centre for Security and Defence Studies (CSDS);
  4. the Royal Museum of the Armed Forces and of Military History (MRA) and the
    Historical Pool of Defence (PHD).
The number of centres of excellence is well fitted to the objectives and niches. However, the pools in social and military sciences AAG, SecEU and ETD are currently going through a restructuration programme in order to achieve excellence in the area of crisis management.
For some centres of excellence, refocusing the research guidelines on the objectives and niches is necessary because their current research area is too wide to reach excellence.
The following graph gives us an idea of the distribution of the studies per pool (and outside them) and per funding type (outside the Ministry of Defence or internal to it, either on the budget of the STRD programme or on the working funds).
When a research study does not belong to the research fields of the centres of excellence of the Ministry of Defence, it is entrusted to a university institution specialised in the subject matter. Indeed, the Ministry of Defence wishes to focus its research programme on some niches in order to avoid dissipating its limited budgetary means.
Number of studies per pool
The particularity of the DLD/CTMA pool is that a lot of its studies are not funded by the Ministry of Defence itself. This is made possible thanks to its CTMA branch (Centre for Applied Molecular Technology) located on the site of the Catholic University of Louvain (UCL) in Brussels which enables it to enjoy a foothold in Wallonia and in Brussels, making it easier to receive regional subsidies.
The pools in applied sciences (LPP, DYMASEC, SIC and MOBINISS) develop research activities both outside and inside the Ministry of Defence.
The centres dealing with behavioural sciences (AAG and ETD) have conducted a very limited number of studies which have been included in the SecEU pool in the graph. This pool is represented by its two sub-pools: SecEU RCDM and SecEU HF. Those are young and are not yet working on externally funded studies.
The HCB-KA carries out a lot of short-term and continuous studies which are part of the daily work of the medical unit. Those studies, coloured in deep red in the graph, are not managed by the RHID (STRD). This was the wish of the hospital’s board because those studies fall rather within the province of expertise than research. Moreover, those short-term studies cannot wait for the annual decision-making cycle of the STRD programme.