France, Australia deepen naval-research ties in wake of submarine deal

PARIS – An international research laboratory to push naval and maritime innovation in Australia is to be founded in Adelaide by France’s Naval Group and the key French national science research organization CNRS together with 14 Australian companies, universities, R&D institutes and various government bodies.

The scientific strategy plan for the laboratory, to be known as the OzCean Technocampus, will be established by the 16 partners before the end of 2019 together with its terms of reference and rules of governance.

Announcement of the plan comes after Naval Group and Australia on Feb. 11 signed a $35 billion contract to build 12 Attack-class submarines for the Australian navy. The deal is expected to tie the two countries’ defense industries together for decades.

Experts at the OzCean Technocampus will conduct non-destructive testing, computing, simulations, and materials studies, including corrosion and antifouling, according to a Naval Group statement. They will also provide vocational and higher education training programs to support the development of the Australian naval industry.