Leonardo’s technological leadership at the service of EU common defense

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The Group, which operates in 150 countries with a team of over 50,000 employees around the world and supply chain involving 11,000 companies (4,000 of which are located in Italy), acts as an industrial engine of the country’s interests in Europe, promoting new know-how and skills, while meeting the challenges posed by the complexities of the digital age. These objectives are part of the “Be Tomorrow 2030” strategic plan defined in 2020: a roadmap that describes Leonardo’s strategic vision for the coming decade and beyond. The objectives of the plan include the promotion of competitiveness, technological sovereignty, innovation in the European defense industry and the development of cooperation initiatives between Member States, such as the use of the European Defense Fund .

“The current scenario imposes an ever greater need for Europe to emerge not only as an economic force but as a geopolitical entity”Explain Director of Strategy and Market Intelligence at Leonardo Enrico Savio. “A need that requires the construction of a European policy of collective defense and active support for companies in the sector working for the progressive development of a common defense system”.

With exports represent more than 80% of its turnover, Leonardo plays a strategic role in the industrial development of the countries where it operates, also achieved through leading international partnership agreements. Examples include Leonardo’s participation in important joint programs and European grassroots defense initiatives, such as the Storm team, the Eurodrone program, and Surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance (ISTAR). Other projects include Gaia-X, an initiative for building a pan-European cloud; partnerships in the aerospace industry, such as CleanSky and SESARand space programs, such as Galileo, Copernicus, COSMO-SkyMed, ExoMars and Artemis.

“As an industrial and technological leader, Leonardo’s main objective is to contribute to pan-European independence and digital autonomy, supporting technological sovereignty as an essential condition for the development of the country,says Savio, “and the development of new skills to meet the challenges posed by the complexities of the digital age”. In fact, Leonardo’s goal of becoming a technological leader has already materialized with the installation of the davinci-1 HPC and the creation of Leonardo Laboratories network.

These results were obtained through a 1.8 billion investment in euros in Research & Development in 2021, a 16.9% increase over the previous year, with a particular focus on cloud computing, artificial intelligence, innovative materials and autonomous intelligent systems, and a growing specialization in “secure” data management. “Today, and increasingly in the future, Leonardo intends to ensure operational superiority by building a value proposition that gets the most out of secure computing in terms of the amount of data processed and the speed at which data is processed and transmitted,” concludes Savio.

The European Defense Fund (EDF), the tool with which the European Commission promotes defense cooperation with competitive and collaborative projects covering the entire research and development cycle, has awarded more projects to Leonardo than to any other player in Europe: 19 projects (11 for capability development and 8 for research) out of a total of 61 approved projects. The Group obtained funding for research and development in the 12 categories in which it participated, relating to electronics, aircraft, helicopters, cybersecurity and space.

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