PADR and EDIDP Wins for Zanasi & Partners

Zanasi & Partners is strengthening its position as one of the most successful SMEs leading the foundation of a “European Defence”. After being awarded the PYTHIA and SOLOMON projects by the European Defence Agency under the first and second Preparatory Action on Defence Research (2017-2018), the company has also been awarded the DECISMAR project (2020), funded by the European Commission under the newly established European Defence Industrial Development Programme (EDIDP), with a total of around 11 million EUR of funding generated in the last three years. This remarkable track record – along with the around 30 EC-funded security projects awarded in the last few years only – makes Z&P at the forefront to penetrate the defence market, giving a strong positioning towards the upcoming European Defence Fund (EDF), which will allocate 8 billion EUR over the 2021-2027 period.

From Security to Defence

Over the past fifteen years, Z&P has participated in multiple research projects under the European Framework Programme (FP7 and FP8, also known as Horizon2020). The projects address a variety of disciplines related to security, from intelligence and crisis management to border control, transport security and critical infrastructure protection. The variegated team of the company, gathering experts with sociopolitical and technical background (e.g. engineers, cybersecurity, etc.), manages to successfully perform a wide range of activities, from formulation of guidelines or policy recommendations to software design. This flexibility makes Z&P a craved partner in a consortium, as it ensures outstanding performances in multiple fields. Furthermore, the multiannual experience in EU project management guarantees a comprehensive understanding of the procedures related to proposal submission, as well as those “winning elements” that make the difference in the proposal evaluation.  Given the cross-border nature of the EU funded initiatives, collaborating in numerous consortia has ensured Z&P an intense network of diverse entities (academia, industrial companies, LEAs, etc.) all across Europe.

In parallel, the winning of two grants under the PADR framework has paved the path to the defence sector. The Preparatory Action on Defence Research (PADR) projects are, indeed, research projects to support innovation in the defence sector. Z&P has received funds for two projects, namely PYTHIA (PADR-STF-01-2017, recently concluded) and SOLOMON (PADR-STF-02-2018), acting in both cases as Technical-Scientific Coordinator. In particular, PYTHIA (Predictive methodologY for TecHnology Intelligence Analysis) was committed to developing an innovative methodology for performing strategic technology foresight in the defence context, whereas SOLOMON (Strategy-Oriented anaLysis Of the Market fOrces in EU defeNce) – benefiting of PYTHIA’s findings – will outline the roadmaps for tackling the supply risk of the EU armament systems in a world of changing strategies, emerging technologies and mutating extra-EU government restrictions. Since PADR and EDIDP have been prepared to pave the way for a substantial defence programme from 2021 onward (the already mentioned EDF), whose procedural mechanism will likely mirror the same process and rules, Z&P is in a strategic and enviable position in addressing the upcoming calls.

Entering the defence industry

Following the successful experience in the PADR framework, Z&P has recently embraced a new challenge within the EDIDP. Last year, the company has been awarded DECISMAR (development of a DECISion support toolbox for enhancing the feasibility study of the upgrade of MARitime surveillance through the integration of legacy assets with new innovative solutions), which aims to develop a decision support toolbox (DSTx), implemented as a cyber-secured and future-proofed integrated IT environment, to provide future technological scenarios.  The participation in EDIDP calls is a crucial achievement as it allows to consolidate relationships with relevant players and create new synergies within the EU defence industry. Indeed, if PADR projects were chiefly oriented towards research activities, EDIDP projects mainly target the capability development: hence, the considerable involvement of EU defence companies. By taking part in H2020, PADR and EDIDP projects, Z&P has shown its ability to act as a bridge between the world of research and the industrial one, thus fostering cooperation and synergy in light of a more solid “European Defence”.

Creating partnerships

Besides enhancing the R&D sector and fostering the EU industrial growth, these R&I projects are established to strengthen cooperation among the multiple and variegated actors involved in the defence sector. Moreover, they are meant to create synergies with activities promoted under other frameworks, such as the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) or NATO-led initiatives. In this respect, it is worth mentioning that Z&P has recently participated in the NATO DTEx (Disruptive Technology Experiment), a wargaming exercise involving crisis scenarios to be addressed relying on new proposed technologies. Such projects and initiatives further allow Z&P to improve its understanding of current needs and gaps as well as to combine necessary expertise and knowledge (e.g. research and technical skills, market posture, etc.) in order to provide the EU with a strong and competitive environment where a “European Defence” could grow its roots and flourish.

Ricerca di personale – Consulente/Ricercatore (sede Modena)

In seguito all’assegnazione di nuovi contratti di ricerca da parte della Commissione Europea e di contratti di consulenza con alcuni ministeri dell’area Europea e MENA, stiamo cercando candidati/e in grado di ricoprire il ruolo di ‘Ricercatore/Consulente’. Tali candidati/e dovranno essere in grado, dopo un opportuno periodo di affiancamento, di gestire autonomamente progetti di ricerca e/o consulenza e seguire i clienti loro assegnati sino alla conclusione naturale del progetto.


Zanasi & Partners ( è coinvolta in due tipi di attività:

  • Ricerca Applicata, sviluppata attraverso partnerships con i migliori Centri Europei di Ricerca Pubblici e Privati;
  • Progetti di Consulenza, diretti ad organizzazioni pubbliche e private Europee e Mediorientali.


Descrizione Candidato/a

Il/La Candidato/a dovrà essere a suo agio nella:

  • Pianificazione e gestione dei progetti in maniera autonoma, dimostrando competenze comunicative eccellenti, in grado di costruire relazioni produttive e durature a tutti i livelli
  • Produzione di rapporti scritti, concisi, chiari, persuasivi
  • Identificazione e sviluppo di nuove opportunità di business allorquando si presentino
  • Effettuazione di presentazioni pubbliche


Competenze Richieste

  • Laurea (gradite Ingegneria/Informatica)
  • Inglese fluente
  • Disponibilità a viaggi
  • Eccellenti competenze comunicative, interpersonali ed organizzative
  • Capacità di lavorare in maniera indipendente e con poca supervisione
  • Interesse a lavorare nell’Industria della Sicurezza e della Difesa


Competenze Gradite

  • PhD
  • Esperienza nell’implementazione di soluzioni software
  • Lingue addizionali (Italiano, Francese, Arabo…)
  • Conoscenze di base su temi quali: terrorismo, border security, ecc.
  • Esperienza internazionale


Se interessati/e, inviare CV (con attività rilevanti, eventuali articoli pubblicati, viaggi e foto) e lettera di motivazione a


Descrizione dell’azienda

Zanasi & Partners (Z&P) è una società di ricerca, consulenza e formazione specializzata in temi tecnologici di varia natura.

Siamo attivi in Europa, Medio Oriente e Nord Africa.

I nostri clienti sono agenzie governative, enti pubblici nazionali ed internazionali ed aziende (ad esempio ESA, EDA, JRC, ENISA, Ministeri Interni, della Difesa e dell’Economica, Siemens, Gruppo Editoriale L’Espresso, ecc.).

Le nostre ricerche (più di 20 progetti approvati) sono state finanziate dalla Commissione Europea.

ECHO project – The COVID-19 Hackers Mind-set

MODENA, 15/04/2020 – The COVID-19 pandemic has led not only to serious health and medical issues, but also to a huge increase in terms of cyberattacks. In order to face the escalation of such phenomenon, the ECHO network of cybersecurity centres joined forces to enhance its COVID-19 Cyber Defence Alliance. The combined effort of experts from 15 EU countries – including Zanasi & Partners – led to the drafting of a whitepaper, showing how this pandemic offers criminals the opportunity to target, through traditional attack techniques, a greater number of potential victims, resulting from the massive increase in companies and employees working from home, as well as children and young people who use computer for school and university education.

The full report is available at

Progetto PYTHIA – Seconda testing session

MODENA, 16/01/2020 – Il progetto PYTHIA (Predictive methodologY for TecHnology Intelligence Analysis) ha svolto la sua seconda testing session a Bruxelles, presso la sede dell’EDA (European Defence Agency), il 3 e il 4 Dicembre. Il progetto PYTHIA è stato finanziato nel contesto del programma PADR (Preparatory Action on Defence Research), atto a finanziare progetti in grado di incentivare la cooperazione, la competitività e l’innovazione nel campo della difesa europea.

Il consorzio di PYTHIA, guidato dal Project Coordinator Engineering Informatica S.p.A. e dal Technical Coordinator Zanasi & Partners, ha mostrato ai membri dell’EDA e della Commissione Europea presenti l’innovativa metodologia per effettuare previsioni tecnologiche di carattere strategico ed il loro possibile impatto sul modello di difesa dell’Unione Europea e degli Stati membri.

Per maggiori informazioni: 

Estremismi online, Zanasi: “Così il nostro progetto smonterà la propaganda” (press release)

MODENA, 09/01/2020 – I contenuti online si tingono sempre più di violenza dando luogo non solo a fenomeni di hating, ma anche a una potente radicalizzazione sociale, con effetti pericolosi per la società. Nel corso degli ultimi anni, in gran parte dell’Unione Europea si è registrato un aumento del trend sia in termini di violenza nei confronti dei civili che di adesione a diverse forme di estremismo ideologico.

Leggi l’articolo intero:

Alessandro ZANASI keynote speaker at the “EU Funding for Defence and Security Projects” conference (Brussels, December 2-3, 2019)

Ing. Alessandro Zanasi will be a keynote speaker at the “EU Funding for Defence and Security” event, organised by the European Academy in Brussels on December 2-3, 2019. On that occasion, Z&P’s President will deliver a presentation on “Strategic Technology Foresight in Defence – Experiences and Outlook 2020”, presenting activities and developments of the EDA-funded PYTHIA and SOLOMON projects (EDA PADR STF-2017/2018). This remarkable achievement comes as a proof of the steady growth of Z&P – only SME invited to deliver a presentation alongside key international actors, such as the European Investment Bank as well as the Greek and Finnish Ministries of Defence. Additional information on the event and the agenda is available at

Maniscalco, M.L., Rosato, V. (2019). Preventing Radicalisation and Terrorism in Europe – A comparative analysis of policies (Chapters 8 and 9)

MODENA, 08/10/2019. Zanasi & Partners is glad to announce the publication of a new book – “Preventing Radicalisation and Terrorism in Europe – A comparative analysis of policies” – which relies on the experience developed within the EC-funded TRIVALENT (Terrorism pReventIon Via rAdicaLisation countEr-NarraTive) project. The book – prefaced by Prof. Luigi Moccia (TRIVALENT Project Coordinator), authored by Prof. Maria Luisa Maniscalco and Prof. Valeria Rosato (Università degli Studi Roma Tre, Italy) with the contribution of Dr. Santina Musolino (Università degli Studi Roma Tre, Italy), Prof. Cindy du Bois (Royal Military Academy, Belgium) and Dr. Willy Bruggerman (President of the Belgian Federal Police Board, Belgium) – offers an updated and critical assessment of the main anti-terrorism and anti-radicalisation policies implemented by five European countries (Belgium, France, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom), as well as of their strengths, weaknesses, peculiarities and differences, identifying possible evolutionary lines and proposing a series of recommendations for policy-makers in their efforts to tackle the radicalisation phenomenon.

Z&P’s team – composed by Ing. Alessandro Zanasi, Dr. Giovanni Vassallo and Dr. Angelo Rollo – has also relied on the expertise gained in the EC-funded CICERO (CounternarratIve Campaign for prEventing RadicalisatiOn) project to provide a relevant analysis on the role of civil society in policies to prevent radicalisation and terrorism in Europe, in particular:

  • Chapter Eight “The Role of Civil Society in Policies to Prevent Radicalisation and Terrorism in Europe” by Alessandro Zanasi
  • Chapter Nine “Recommendations for New Policies” by Giovanni Vassallo and Angelo Rollo


More information on the book at

HackIstanbul 2019

Zanasi & Partners officially supports HackIstanbul 2019, an international cybersecurity event which will take place in Istanbul, Turkey, in September 2019, within the context of the Teknofest event.

HackIstanbul 2019 CTF (Capture the Flag) contest will gather thousands of hackers from 132 countries worldwide to exhibit their skills.

Hackers’ skills will be pushed to the limits by advanced real-life cyber-attack scenarios prepared under the guidance of the world’s foremost experts. Hackers who succeeded in the preselection stage have gained access to enter the CTF challenge on August 29th. Every stage with different levels of difficulty and complexity will push the hackers to the limits while raising the excitement of the contest to the highest level.

Hackers who have reached August 29th will face a 2nd preselection challenge; the 18 hour CTF challenge will carry only the best hackers to the final round. The top 10 teams who succeed the CTF will be invited to Istanbul for the grand final stage that will be hosted at Istanbul Atatürk Airport on September 21st.

The winning team will be awarded 10.000 USD grand prize, while the 2nd best team will be awarded 6.000 USD and the 3rd team will be awarded 3.000 USD.

The winners will get their prizes from The President of The Republic of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

PYTHIA project – Testing sessions

MODENA, 18/06/2019 – The PADR PYTHIA project is entering its final stage. After almost 18-months of work, the consortium will be presenting the developed technology foresight prototype during a testing session that will take place on June, 19th at “Casa dell’Aviatore” (Rome, Italy). During this final interactive workshop, hosted by Zanasi & Partners (Technical and Scientific Coordinator of the project), the consortium will also collect feedback to be implemented in the final version. All consortium members and external experts will be in attendance, as well as representatives from the European Commission and the European Defence Agency.

PYTHIA project

For further information on the PYTHIA project:

Zanasi & Partners

Zanasi & Partners (Z&P) is a research and advisory company in the field of security and defence based in Modena. Its expertise includes big data analytics, cyber-security/cyber-defence, social media monitoring, threat, vulnerability and risk assessment. Among its clients, Z&P counts European Commission, ESA, ENISA, FRONTEX, CIRA, Siemens, GEDI Gruppo Editoriale, Booz&Co, as well as several ministries and government agencies falling under European countries and the MENA region.

For further information on Z&P:

CICERO project (press release)

MODENA, 17/06/2019 – Zanasi & Partners has been awarded the European project CICERO (Counter narrative Campaign for Preventing Radicalisation), coordinated by the University of Turin and funded by the EC’s Internal Security Fund.

The overall objective of the project is to design and develop a campaign with the aim to spread counter-narrative messages addressing individuals at different stages of radicalization, as well as to empower (by enhancing resilience and critical thinking) civil society in the prevention and contrast of such phenomenon.

The project, started in February 2019 and to be implemented for until February 2021, involves technological companies, associations and various policy and research organizations from 3 European Countries (Italy, Spain and Belgium).

More specifically, the project consortium is composed by:

• Università degli Studi di Torino (UNITO);
• Zanasi & Partners (Z&P);
• Centro Studi Internazionali (CeSI);
• Novareckon (NR);
• Society Against Violent Extremism (SAVE);
• Tecoms Srl (TEC);
• European Foundation for Democracy (EFD);
• Confederazione Islamica Italiana (CII);
• Expert System Iberia (ESI);
• Infotron Europa SL (IE).

The project will deal with different kinds of radicalisation narratives, ranging from those related to political and religious extremism, to left-wing, right-wing and single-issue extremism. The aim is to undermine the appeal of the extremist propaganda, while also providing credible and positive alternatives to the related narratives. In order to reach that goal, the CICERO consortium will, at first, identify the target audiences that are considered particularly susceptible to extremist propaganda. The most prominent radicalisation narratives circulating across the EU will be therefore collected and analysed.

In order to maximize the effectiveness of the counter-narrative campaign, the consortium will also develop and implement a multi-level assessment methodology, which will allow to monitor and progressively assess the impact of the campaign itself on the target recipients. More particularly, such campaign will seek to undermine the appeal of contents that either encourage or justify violence – on political, religious, ethnic or social grounds – by means of multimedia messages and contents designed to challenge violent narratives, as well as to provide positive alternatives centered upon the promotion of democratic values and fundamental rights embedded in EU society.

CICERO project

For further information on the CICERO project:

Zanasi & Partners

Zanasi & Partners (Z&P) is a research and advisory company in the field of security and defence based in Modena. Its expertise includes big data analytics, cyber-security/cyber-defence, social media monitoring, threat, vulnerability and risk assessment. Among its clients, Z&P counts European Commission, ESA, ENISA, FRONTEX, CIRA, Siemens, GEDI Gruppo Editoriale, Booz&Co, as well as several ministries and government agencies falling under European countries and the MENA region.

For further information on Z&P: