Leonardo announced the signature of the grant agreement for OCEAN2020 project, the most important project related to the initiative to boost Europe’s defence research under the European Defence Fund (EDF), on March 28.
The initiative is funded by the European Union and implemented by the European Defence Agency (EDA), the latter acting as contracting authority, under the ‘Preparatory Action on Defence Research’ (PADR) programme.
The signing took place at the European Commission in the presence of the European Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, Elzbieta Bienkowska and Leonardo’s CEO, Alessandro Profumo.
The project – which will be funded by a grant totaling around EUR 35 million – will be led by Leonardo, which will coordinate a consortium composed of 42 partners from 15 European countries.
“Ocean2020 will make it possible to promote technological research in a sector of great interest and relevance for Europe and for the Mediterranean area in particular, such as maritime safety,” said Alessandro Profumo, CEO of Leonardo. “Our team has established itself in a competitive environment thanks to a technologically innovative proposal of great strategic value. This is the culmination of an intense and effective collaboration among all 42 partners of the consortium, and I would like to thank each participant for their important contributions.”
Leonardo, within the scope of the same “Preparatory Action on Defense Research”, was selected as part of GOSSRA project, led by Rheinmetall, which is working to standardize soldier equipment that will improve the interoperability during joint operations conducted by forces of European countries.
The signing of today’s agreement further reaffirms the significant role played by Leonardo in the European security and defense initiatives. The company firmly supports the Commission’s proposal, aimed at providing the European Defence Fund with a budget of EUR 1.5 billion a year from 2021 onwards. Of this amount, up to EUR 1 billion a year will support the joint development of defence capabilities by the European Union’s Member States. An amount of EUR 500 million will be earmarked for research activities, essential for the growth and competitiveness of the European defense industry.