The BlueGuard project, developed under a partnership between Thales and the start-up MyDataModels, specialized in data processing and artificial intelligence, was selected on 3 December 2020 after a call for projects for the Nice Côte d’Azur metropolitan council's Blue Innovation Challenge.
The Blue Innovation Challenge aims to support local jobs and develop an innovation ecosystem focused on the maritime sector as an area of strategic importance for the region.
As the threat environment evolves, it is crucially important to protect the maritime and underwater space around sensitive coastal infrastructure such as ports, industrial facilities and sites of economic or military importance, and to ensure security for major events. The BlueGuard project involves developing a demonstrator of a smart surveillance system designed to monitor sensitive coastal sites and protect populations and the coastline reliably at all times from new and emerging threats such as unmanned underwater vehicles.
MyDataModels has a unique set of skills in AI-based data analytics and will be providing expertise in automatic data classification. Thales has already worked with the MyDataModels through AI@Centech, a start-up accelerator programme in Montreal, Canada.
With more than 60 years of experience in undersea defence and global recognition for its underwater systems expertise, Thales will provide its technical and operational insights as well sonar transmit and receive arrays and electronic systems.
"The city's support for the BlueGuard project and Thales' investment will enable the launch of a new surveillance product against coastal threats. This project illustrates the co-innovation developed by Thales with more than 160 startups," Alexis Morel, Vice President, Underwater Systems, Thales.
"It is rare for a major corporation to work successfully in agile mode with a start-up. BlueGuard is a prime example of a win-win partnership focused on developing disruptive technology and demonstrating its capabilities in real-life conditions around the port of Nice thanks to the Nice Côte d’Azur metropolitan council." Denis Bastiment, CTO, MyDataModels