Press Release: SEA Defence at the EDA European Defence and Innovation Days

Brussels, 31 May 2023 – SEA Defence is celebrating its official conclusion at the occasion of the European Defence Agency (EDA) European Defence and Innovation Days (EDID). For the past 30 months, naval shipbuilders, research institutes and the naval supply chain from eight European countries have carried out a comprehensive European-wide feasibility study to see in which areas they can join forces and develop the best next-generation naval platforms. This initial SEA Defence project is now coming to a close, but the cooperation will continue, vows SEA Defence Project Manager Marcel Elenbaas.


The SEA Defence project is based on the conviction that cooperation at a European level is necessary to preserve the competitiveness of the European naval industry. Its ultimate aim has been to evaluate the impact of the latest and emerging technologies on the effectiveness and performance of naval capabilities while simultaneously increasing interoperability on a European scale. Simply put: to design the most advanced ships that, while different from one another, can work closely together and communicate securely and efficiently with each other.


“We are proud to be able to present the results of our collective work to the EDA European Defence and Innovation Days. With recent geopolitical developments, the European naval defence industry needs more than ever to join forces to ensure the security of the European Union on its shores and overseas,” Marcel Elenbaas states. “EU Member States need to guarantee that their future naval fleet will remain at the technological forefront to be able to defend themselves against all possible threats. And the best way to do it is altogether by pooling our resources together on the most promising projects.”


To achieve this, the project has united twelve partners and seven Ministries of Defence from eight countries. This includes seven of Europe’s biggest naval shipbuilders: Damen Naval (NL), Fincantieri (IT), Naval Group (FR), Navantia (SP), SAAB Kockums (SW), and Naval Vessels Lürssen and thyssenkrupp Marine Systems (GE). Other stakeholders are ATLAS Elektronik, Blohm+Voss, Cetena, CTN, Fincantieri NextTech, Naviris, MARIN, OMT, SAES, Sirenha, SEA Europe, and TNO. The main findings and recommendations for innovations were presented to stakeholders, partners and interested parties during the EDA European Defence and Innovation Days in Brussels, on the 31st of May.


“Several new EDF-projects have already sprouted from our cooperation during SEA Defence, and it is incredibly gratifying to know other projects will follow,” concludes Marcel Elenbaas “We have identified seven overarching roadmaps which pave the way to European naval superiority in this rapidly changing geopolitical environment.” Member States’ Program Manager Inge Weyers, from the Netherlands MoD confirms: “These roadmaps will be used by the industry and Member States to define collaborative European Research, Development, and Innovation activities for the coming years. These activities will lead to calls and projects within the EDF and possibly EDA as well.”


SEA Defence is a Research and Development initiative of SEA Naval, the permanent working group of shipyard integrators of SEA Europe. SEA Naval represents the industry platform for the implementation of current and future naval defence programs.



For further information please contact
Marcel Elenbaas
SEA Defence Project Manager
+31 (0) 622 75 99 29


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