Leonardo Labs

The Leonardo Labs are technology incubators destined to support Leonardo's long-term research and its development of cutting-edge technologies, particularly in the digital sphere. They stem from the desire, not just to remain on the frontline of innovation, but to anticipate it, thereby improving the products and services offered to customers and boosting the Group’s long-term growth prospects.

These new facilities – some built in collaboration with world-leading industrial partners and research centres in their respective areas of competence – are and will be located near Leonardo's main industrial sites in Italy – Cascina Costa (Va) Turin, Genoa, Rome, Pomigliano D’Arco (Na) Grottaglie (Ta) – and abroad (USA) with the aim of facilitating technology transfer and maximising benefits for the local territories, consolidating collaborations with local institutions. The Leonardo Labs will be a catalyst for local entities, allowing Leonardo to centralise development of enabling technologies to fully exploit the innovation opportunity.

The Leonardo Labs, which will develop transversal skills to the company’s business areas, are: Future Rotorcraft Technologies, Future Aircraft Technologies, Materials Technologies, Space Technologies, Future Electronics & Sensing, Quantum Technologies, Applied Artificial Intelligence, HPC\Cloud\Big Data Technologies, Intelligent Autonomous System.

Each laboratory encompasses several research units, focusing on topics such as artificial intelligence, autonomous systems, big data, high-performance computing, simulation and modeling, quantum technologies, electric mobility, materials and the structures. The technological areas of the laboratories are defined within the ‘2030 Masterplan for Innovation’, one of the pillars on which the strategic planBe Tomorrow - Leonardo 2030’ is based: an ambitious and far-sighted vision which aims to contribute to sustainable progress, safety and a more hospitable future.

The laboratories will fuel a continuous flow of talent and ensure flexibility and renewal of professional skills and competencies, based on a model whereby young international research fellows and PhD students will work with experts and researchers operating within the Leonardo Divisions. After evaluating of numerous applications received through the international recruitment call launched by Leonardo, 72 researchers will be selected for the Labs network.

The Leonardo Labs

Future Rotorcraft Technologies

Developing technologies and solutions for future rotary wing platforms to enhance safety and operational flexibility of aircraft and fleets. Researchers will develop advanced simulation solutions and will investigate applications of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to advanced Flight Control Systems/Flight Management System for optimal interaction between pilot and aircraft, and the electrification/hybridisation of the propulsion systems to meet future air mobility needs in metropolitan areas.

Future Aircraft Technologies

Developing technologies and solutions for the future fixed wing platforms for advanced manufacturing and monitoring of the platforms throughout the life cycle. Researchers will develop AI-based solutions for monitoring the status of the pilot, workload alleviation and situational awareness in complex/quickly evolving situations, and investigate the electrification/hybridisation of the propulsion systems for future aircraft sustainability and unmanned platforms evolution.

Materials Technologies

Developing new materials, in particular composites and related manufacturing processes, to improve the mechanical characteristics in aeronautical applications and reducing the production cost. Laboratory researchers will investigate multifunctional materials and structures capable of integrating mechanical characteristics with system functionality and specific physical/chemical/mechanical properties.

Space Technologies

Developing advanced monitoring technologies combining satellite data with other data to create global monitoring and surveillance for critical infrastructure, natural events management, search and rescue, environmental monitoring, crowd and events management, health emergencies, smart cities management, border control and security. In particular, researchers will develop Machine Learning / Deep Learning methods and algorithms for the global monitoring system.

Future Electronics & Sensing

Developing new technologies and solutions for "Command and Control" systems, to transform actual decision support systems into a real cognitive C2, leveraging on AI and ‘on the edge’ solutions. Additionally, research activities will focus on the development of new technologies and algorithms for unmanned vehicles, the development of a unified Predictive Maintenance framework based on latest technologies, and developing AI-based solutions for detection and recognition of human actions from video and automatic understanding of human crowd activities.

Quantum Technologies

Developing quantum secure communications and information technologies and quantum sensing, with particular focus on sensors for inertial navigation. A dedicated research area will investigate Quantum Computing with particular focus on quantum algorithms and quantum machine learning.

Applied Artificial Intelligence

Developing Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies and applications of strategic interest for the Leonardo Group and which can efficiently exploit the HPC facility. In particular, laboratory researchers will develop advanced solutions that can leverage on explainable AI, few shot learning, high performance AI, contextual reasoning AI, domain adaptation and transfer learning. Specific research will be undertaken on new technologies and methods to run AI on a low power and low computing devices.

HPC\Cloud\Big Data Technologies

Developing new capabilities to improve Leonardo’s applications and exploit advanced HPC accelerated architectures. In particular, laboratory researchers will develop computational tools more suited for new applications in the digital continuum where Big Data solutions work together with HPC and AI to support IoT and EDGE solutions. The laboratory hosts davinci-1, one of the world’s most powerful calculators (among the top 100 supercomputers in the world according to the TOP500 ranking), which will significantly strengthen the capabilities of Leonardo and Italy in supercomputing, Big Data and in the development of AI applications.

Intelligent Autonomous System

Developing intelligent autonomous systems based on AI-driven robots and advanced human-robot interaction technologies, to be applied to specific missions, manufacturing, operations in harsh environment, maintenance and in the future also in the space environment. Particular effort will be placed on researching new solutions for navigation, mobility and locomotion, motion planning and interaction, manipulation control and AI solutions for robots.