Interview with Polícia Judiciária

Interview with Polícia Judiciária

Polícia Judiciária are a partner in the NOTIONES project. What is your role within this network of police and intelligence agencies across Europe?

As a partner in the EU-funded NOTIONES project, Polícia Judiciária collaborates with law enforcement agencies with extensive experience in handling internal insurgency and intelligence gathering. This expertise, gained over decades of investigating all sorts of serious organised crime, underscores our invaluable contributions to the project. Just as other agencies have developed sophisticated intelligence models, our involvement ensures that NOTIONES benefits from diverse perspectives and proven strategies for addressing emerging cyber threats.

Within NOTIONES, Polícia Judiciária participates in monitoring academic research, identifying emerging threats, and proposing proactive measures to enhance cybersecurity across Europe. Their role is essential in shaping the project’s outcomes and strengthening Europe’s collective response to cyber threats. By leveraging their expertise and collaborating with other partners,  Polícia Judiciária plays a crucial role in safeguarding the digital infrastructure and ensuring the safety and security of citizens.

What activities of the NOTIONES project are you currently progressing?

Currently, we are actively engaged in several activities within the NOTIONES project. Our primary focus is on providing the consortium partners with timely insights and innovative approaches to enhance the practical utilisation of intelligence functions and capabilities, thereby contributing to public safety and the preservation of democratic processes.

Polícia Judiciária has contributed input on the development of processes aimed at optimising intelligence-led policing, ensuring that these approaches are framed within legal, ethical, and human rights-based frameworks. As an example, we have been very active in a Working Group created in the project to discuss emergent threats and opportunities in the cryptocurrencies landscape, providing a view on the internal expertise, methods and tools available internally and on the market.

Overall,  Polícia Judiciária remains committed to advancing the objectives of the NOTIONES project, leveraging our expertise and collaborating with partners to strengthen intelligence capabilities and enhance security across Europe.

How will the engagement of Polícia Judiciária in the NOTIONES project support policing in Portugal?

Our involvement in the NOTIONES project offers crucial support to policing efforts in Portugal. By engaging with this initiative, Polícia Judiciária gains access to advanced intelligence methodologies and technologies developed by leading European law enforcement agencies. This exchange of knowledge enhances our capabilities in tackling various forms of crime, including cybercrime and terrorism.

Moreover, participation in NOTIONES fosters collaboration with a diverse network of security and intelligence practitioners across Europe. This collaboration enables us to establish partnerships, share insights, and coordinate efforts with other agencies, strengthening information-sharing mechanisms and facilitating joint operational activities.

Additionally, our contribution to NOTIONES helps shape the future of security research programming at the European level. By providing input and expertise, Polícia Judiciária ensures that research agendas address the specific challenges faced by Portuguese law enforcement, facilitating the development of tailored solutions and strategies.

Our engagement in NOTIONES reinforces Portugal’s position within the European security framework, enhances its capacity to respond to emerging threats, and strengthens cooperation with international partners to safeguard the country’s security interests.

What are the benefits to Polícia Judiciária of participating in European security research and innovation projects?

Participating in European security research and innovation projects offers several benefits to Polícia Judiciária. Firstly, it provides access to cutting-edge technologies, tools, and methodologies developed through collaborative research efforts, enhancing our capabilities in intelligence gathering, analysis, and law enforcement operations. Secondly, participation allows us to network with other law enforcement agencies, security experts, and researchers across Europe, facilitating knowledge sharing, learning from best practices, and establishing valuable partnerships. Additionally, involvement in research projects includes training programs and workshops, enabling our personnel to develop new skills, enhance expertise, and stay updated on the latest developments in security and law enforcement. Moreover, contributing to European research projects allows us to influence policy, strategy, and standards in the security and law enforcement ecosystem, ensuring Portuguese perspectives and priorities are considered in shaping European security agendas. Lastly, participation strengthens international cooperation, fostering mutual trust and collaboration in addressing transnational security challenges. Engaging in European security research and innovation projects enhances our capabilities, visibility, and effectiveness in ensuring better security in Portugal.

Are you engaging in other European research and innovation projects?

Polícia Judiciária actively participates in various European research and innovation projects and is recognised as one of the most engaged law enforcement agencies in the research and innovation ecosystem, having garnered numerous awards within the Horizon 2020 framework. With a portfolio comprising over 50 projects across various funding schemes, we strategically integrate  research and innovation initiatives into our overarching innovation strategy. The European Network Against Crime and Terrorism (ENACT) project, financed under the Horizon Europe Framework, is a notable example, as it is the first project coordinated by Polícia Judiciária, aiming to conduct periodic assessments of stakeholders capabilities, technologies, gaps, and outcomes in the research and innovation sector within the Framework Programme for research and innovation sector to support future programming and improve the uptake of innovative security solutions.

Participation in these projects provides us with invaluable insights into emerging technological trends and grants access to tailor-made solutions designed specifically for law enforcement agencies. Moreover, Polícia Judiciária fosters a culture of innovation internally, evidenced by the establishment of a dedicated Unit for Innovation and LabInov, our Innovation Lab, which serve as hubs for research and experimentation.

Furthermore, we actively collaborate with a wide network of security stakeholders, encompassing law enforcement agencies, research and technology organisations, academia, and industry partners. This collaboration facilitates the exchange of knowledge, best practices, and fosters cooperation in innovation within the security domain.

Our involvement in European research and innovation projects underscores Polícia Judiciaries’ commitment to remaining at the forefront of technological advancements and fostering collaboration to effectively address evolving security challenges.

How does Polícia Judiciária assess which research and innovation projects to progress?

We employ a rigorous assessment process to determine which research and innovation initiatives to prioritise. This involves a thorough evaluation of various factors to ensure alignment with the organization’s strategic objectives, operational requirements and staff availability. We meticulously examine multiple funding frameworks and their respective work programs, assessing their relevance and potential to address specific challenges and needs. Not only do we proactively seek out opportunities, but we also frequently approached by potential consortiums due to our history of open collaboration, dedication, and performance. Priority is given to proposals with the potential to significantly enhance our capabilities and effectiveness, equipping it to better tackle emerging threats and types of criminality. By meticulously assessing these factors, we ensure that resources are allocated to projects that offer the greatest potential to strengthen our capacity to address security threats effectively. All of this work is done by our LabInov, as it ensures that our experts on innovation management are fully informed and aligned with our operational units to fully leverage the results of each project.

How did you become engaged in police research and innovation activity? And what experience do you bring to support the delivery of the NOTIONES project?

Polícia Judiciária was invited, for the first time, during the European Commission’s Framework Programme 7 to participate in research and innovation projects as a partner. This opportunity highlighted the value of research and innovation for the activities of law enforcement agencies, particularly for Polícia Judiciária, as we are responsible for the prevention and investigation of serious, organised, and transnational crime, including terrorism, in Portugal. The connections and knowledge gained were crucial in shaping our vision at that time. The ability to anticipate future needs and go beyond what the market offered was pivotal for the creation of our innovation strategy and cultural transformation.

Polícia Judiciária contributes with significant experience, knowledge, and expertise in various fields of research and development projects, typically participating in requirements definition, conducting demonstrations, and validating technical solutions. Both operational staff and innovation experts possess extensive knowledge in various criminal domains, including forensics, and excel in managing activities related to these projects.

What advice would you give to other law enforcement agencies seeking to engage in European security research and innovation? And what are the key lessons you have learned in delivering police research and innovation projects?

For law enforcement agencies looking to engage in European security research and innovation, I advise prioritising staying informed about funding opportunities and building partnerships with other agencies and institutions across Europe. Tailoring solutions to address specific challenges aligned with the internal strategy and fostering a culture of innovation within the agency are also crucial. Sharing best practices and lessons learned with other law enforcement agencies helps foster collaboration and continuous improvement, unlocking synergies and opportunities to fight crime across borders.

The creation of our LabInov helped us having a bigger focus on the matter that we consider fundamental in our projects, such as the effective stakeholder engagement, robust project management, continuous learning, active monitoring of project developments and fostering the collaboration and partnership with external entities. These are the key lessons to ensure continuous improvement and maximize the impact and effectiveness of security research and innovation initiatives.



Luísa Proença

Luísa Proença is Deputy National Director of the Portuguese Judicial Police, with responsibility for Innovation, European Funds, Information and Communication Systems and Financial Administration. She holds a master’s degree in Public Administration in the Justice sector, a Specialisation in Innovation and Development and has a degree in Modern Languages and Literatures, English-German variant. She is responsible for the Recovery and Resilience Plan, with a special focus on the digital transition and the climate transition.  She has significant experience in managing European funds from various funding programmes, especially the Internal Security Fund, Horizon 2020, Horizon Europe, CEF Telecom, JUST, Hercules, among others, being the LEAR (legal entity appointed representative) for the Ministry of Justice.  She is the national contact point for the CERV Fund (Citizens, Equality, Rights and Values), a member of CERIS (Community of European Research and Innovation in Security), in the subgroups FCT (Fight against Crime and Terrorism) and INFRA (Resilient Infrastructures) and member of the governance board of EuCB (European Clearing Board), the European organisation that coordinates innovation in Law Enforcement Agencies.  During the Portuguese presidency of the European Council, she chaired the sub-groups on Justice and CERV subgroups on European funds. She was responsible for European funds for Justice from December 2015 to July 2018. She has been a speaker and moderator at conferences in the field of obtaining and managing European funds and in the field of innovation in security.

Polícia Judiciária

Under the terms of the decree-law regulating its new organizational structure and the Organisation of Criminal Investigation Act (LOIC) (Act no. 49/2008, 27 August), the mission of the Polícia Judiciária (PJ) is to assist judicial and prosecuting authorities in criminal investigations specifically assigned or delegated to it by the competent judicial or prosecuting authorities. The PJ pursues the development and promotion of prevention, detection, and criminal investigation actions within its competence or as mandated by the Internal Security Act, the Criminal Policy Framework Law, and national strategies defining criminal policy goals, priorities, and guidelines, as well as performing official forensic examinations and assessments. For over seven decades, PJ has carried out its legally attributed functions with great technical proficiency. As a leading force in combating the most serious, complex, and socially damaging forms of crime, PJ has earned fair recognition and prestige both domestically and internationally due to its culture of rigor, impartiality, and high professionalism. Today, the PJ continues to fulfil its mission with determination and commitment. Embracing new technologies, PJ faces the challenges of knowledge and modernity with creativity and dynamism.



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