French firms-Atos and Thales announced a new joint venture, Athea that will develop a sovereign big data and artificial intelligence (AI) platform for public and private sector players in the defense, intelligence and internal 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.
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.
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.
“Sensitive data capabilities have become a sovereignty issue for State agencies. 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.” said Pierre Barnabé, Senior Executive Vice President, Big Data and Cybersecurity, Atos.