ROME – Italy and France are to fund half the cost of new cutting-edge technology projects launched by Naviris, the joint venture between the countries’ leading shipyards.

The money will be used for development work on computer-aided engineering, vessel lifecycle simulation, energy efficiency, fuel cells for surface vessels, logistics and new technologies for helping sail in rough weather.

Naviris is a 50-50 joint venture launched in 2019 by Italy’s Fincantieri and France’s Naval Group to develop common vessels including a new European corvette which has attracted interest from Spain after Greece signed up.

The deal on funding for new research, announced on Thursday, will see the injection of state cash overseen by OCCAR, the European procurement organization which is used by nations to manage multinational programs.

“Through this deal, managed by OCCAR, Naviris will provide half the funding for the research, while the defense ministries of Italy and France will provide the other half,” said a Fincantieri source.

“Naviris will have the intellectual property of the results, which can be exploited by Italy and France for their navies,” he added. No value was given for the three-and-a-half-year contract.

In a statement, Naviris said that three Naval Group sites will be involved in the projects – Nantes-Indret, Ollioules and Lorient, as well as its subsidiary SIREHNA. Fincantieri facilities at Genova and Trieste will work on the project, along with its subsidiaries Cetena and Seastema.

OCCAR said that the contract would be followed by a successive deal involving the European organization in upgrade work undertaken by Naviris on Horizon frigates operated by France and Italy.