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Defence Industry and Space
News article27 October 2021

OCEAN 2020: The EU’s largest collaborative defence research project under the PADR successfully completed

OCEAN2020 Final Conference
OCEAN2020 Final Conference

Today, the final conference on the OCEAN 2020 project (Open Cooperation for European mAritime awareNess), funded under the European Union’s Preparatory Action Plan on Defence Research (PADR), took place in Brussels. The event marked the closing of the 3-year long cycle of the project. Conference participants included the European Commission/DG DEFIS, the European Defence Agency, which monitored the implementation of the project, and representatives from the project’s 43 consortium partners, led by the Leonardo Company.

The project received an EU funding contribution of €35.480.000 under the PADR. Director for Defence Industry of DG DEFIS, Mr. François Arbault, stated in his keynote speech that:

OCEAN 2020 demonstrates in a very convincing manner, that cooperation amongst a multitude of actors can work if well managed, and it can bring about benefits and results, which cannot be achieved otherwise 

This large-scale demonstrator project, involving a large set of different actors, from public entities to industries, including primes and SMEs, has achieved all the expected outcomes, including two live demonstrations in the Mediterranean and in the Baltic Sea, which involved 10 Member States’ Ministries of Defence and navies. The research work carried out under OCEAN 2020 paved the way for enhanced European maritime situational awareness, and increased autonomy, cost effectiveness and interoperability for joint missions, also using protocols compatible with NATO standards.

In particular, the project has demonstrated the benefit from integration of various prototypes in real and simulated conditions. These ranged from a large set of unmanned system prototypes and their related innovative payload (Air, Surface and Underwater), including with cooperation and swarming considerations, to situation awareness key components such as the prototype for a European Maritime Operations Centre, as well as prototypes for data integration, processing and fusion.

The European Defence Fund will continue to support collaborative maritime defence research and development actions while benefitting from the knowledge and experience accumulated within projects of its precursor programmes, namely the PADR and EDIDP.


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Featured image: ©Leonardo


Publication date
27 October 2021