On 10 and 11 April 2018 the kick-off meeting of the OCEAN2020 project is held at the European Defence Agency (EDA). More than 70 representatives from the 42 consortium partners participate in the meeting. OCEAN2020 is the largest of the three projects selected in the 2017 call for proposals for the EU Preparatory Action on Defence Research (PADR).
OCEAN2020’s main objective is to support maritime surveillance and interdiction missions at sea. In this regard the project will integrate enhanced air, naval surface and underwater unmanned systems into fleet operations to build up a recognised maritime picture of developing situations for military commanders.
The project is run by a consortium led by Leonardo S.p.A, bringing together 42 partners from 15 EU countries. The total amount of the grant is €35.5 million funded by the European Union. During his opening address, Jorge Domecq, EDA Chief Executive stressed the importance of the project to demonstrate the importance of cooperative defence research for Europe.
The two-day meeting is dedicated to discussing programmatic and technical activities of the project. A large set of deliverables are foreseen to be prepared within six months and all the actors demonstrate a broad commitment to achieve this first milestone. The discussions are geared to consolidate a solid modus operandi in order to coordinate such a big group of experts from all over Europe and from different organisations. The second day is entirely dedicated to the presentation of the technical activities in the six work packages composing the project.
During the project two live demonstrations will be conducted in combination with operational military exercises – one in the Mediterranean sea led by the Italian navy in 2019 and one in the Baltic sea in 2020 led by the Swedish navy.
The Preparatory Action on Defence Research (PADR) is funded by the European Union. The PADR activities are run by the European Defence Agency (EDA) following the mandate of a Delegation Agreement between the Commission and EDA signed on 31st May 2017. By this agreement the Commission entrusts EDA with the management and implementation of the research projects to be launched within the PADR.
The PADR is a concrete step aimed at assessing and demonstrating the added-value of EU supported defence research and technology (R&T). The relevant results are expected to further deepen European defence cooperation, addressing capability shortfalls, and to strengthen European defence stakeholders.
The European Commission launched the PADR with a view of developing a future European Defence Research Programme (EDRP) as part of the EU’s next Multiannual Financial Framework (2021-2027).