Joint Venture to Help Public and Private Sectors

27 May 2021

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Atos and Thales have combined forces in Athea, a joint venture that will develop a sovereign big data and artificial intelligence platform for public and private sector players in the defence, intelligence and internal state security communities.

Athea will draw on the experience gained by both companies from the demonstration phase of the ARTEMIS programme, the big data platform of the French Ministry of Armed Forces. The contract to optimise and prepare the full-scale roll-out of the ARTEMIS platform was also awarded jointly to the two leaders by the French Defense Procurement Agency on April 30, 2021. The new joint venture will initially serve the French market before addressing European requirements at a later date.

With the exponential rise in the number of sources of information, and increased pressure to respond more quickly to potential issues, State agencies need to manage ever-greater volumes of heterogeneous data and accelerate the development of new AI applications where security and sovereignty are key. Athea will create a solution to securely handle sensitive data on a nationwide scale and support the implementation of that solution within government programmes. The new entity will also provide expert appraisal, consulting, training and other services.

The joint venture will pool the companies’ investments, expertise and experience to respond quickly and efficiently to demand for innovation. Athea will work with an ecosystem of large companies, SMEs, start-ups and research institutes specialising in big data and artificial intelligence. In conjunction with the recently created Defense Digital Agency, the joint entity will also provide secure solutions and open and modular technological building blocks, which encourage collaboration and stimulate the industrial and sovereign ecosystem, in order to support the development of trusted applications.

“Sensitive data capabilities have become a sovereignty issue for State agencies,” said Pierre Barnabé, SEVP, Big Data and Cybersecurity, Atos. “By combining the expertise of two major players in defence and digital technologies with the flexibility of a dedicated entity, Athea will generate huge potential for innovation,  and stimulate the industrial and defence ecosystem, including innovative start-ups, to meet the needs of government agencies and other stakeholders in the sector. This new joint venture between Atos and Thales is an opportunity to combine a comprehensive understanding of the defence and security issues faced by European States with access to the latest innovations in big data and artificial intelligence.”

With one eye on probable decreases in defense budgets for European forces, government-industry teams continue to quickly increase the breadth of technology offerings for military training audiences. Read more in  European Simulation and Training Innovation.

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