Atos partners Thales for artificial intelligence defence offering

31 May 2021 3 min. read

IT consulting firm Atos has partnered with technology company Thales to launch a joint venture that will develop a new big data and artificial intelligence platform. Athea will serve public and private sector players in the defence sector.

Mounting pressures on the resources of security services, coupled with advances in supporting technology such as 5G, are currently seeing organisations’ appetites for tech-driven security systems explode. In this context, consultancy Atos has landed a succession of roles helping public and private clients leverage innovation for their defence and security offerings.

Now, Atos has announced a new venture in partnership with innovation firm Thales, which will see it produce a sovereign big data and artificial intelligence offering. Sensitive data capabilities have become a sovereignty issue for State agencies. By combining the expertise of two major players in defence and digital technologies with the flexibility of a dedicated entity, the Athea programme will help public and private sector operators in the defence, intelligence and internal state security communities.

Atos partners Thales for artificial intelligence defence offering

“This joint venture between Thales and Atos illustrates the commitment of both our companies to supporting the digital transformation of our customers by providing a secure and innovative solution based on French technology to process huge volumes of heterogeneous data. Together, we will capitalise on our respective areas of expertise to provide best-in-class big data and artificial intelligence solutions,” said Marc Darmon, Executive Vice President, Secure Communications and Information Systems, Thales.

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.

Pierre Barnabé, Senior Executive Vice President, Big Data and Cybersecurity, Atos, added, “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.”

The move also draws 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 at the end of April 2021. The new Athea joint venture will therefore initially serve the French market before addressing European requirements at a later date.

Elsewhere, Atos recently acquired Ipsotek. The AI enhanced software provider will enable the consultancy to enter the world of video analytics. Founded in 2001, the London based firm offers clients an innovative platform, which leverages artificial intelligence permitting users to efficiently manage automatically-generated alerts in real-time.