General information about the project


ID: 101074868

NAME: "Level 1 Accelerator for Defence Sector"


PROGRAMME: Single Market Programme


OBJECTIVE: Creating the first European cluster of excellence in the naval and aeronaval defence sector

PERIOD: 01/09/2022 - 31/08/2024

BUDGET: €1.392.402,77 (75% dedicated to the financial support of small and medium-sized enterprises)

PARTNERS: 6 organizations from 4 different European countries



Project description


LEVIATAD aims to create the first Eurocluster of excellence in naval defence through cooperation, in terms of synergies and integration, among project partners. The goal will be achieved by following a three-step action plan:


  1. Mapping the value chain of the naval and aeronaval defence sector after the pandemic crisis to better understand the structure of the European ecosystem and possible synergies and complementarities at transnational level. This will enable the Consortium to draw lessons concerning the sector's disruptions and dependencies and develop a more efficient industrial strategy that incorporates the principles of green and digital transitions, and increases resilience and competitiveness in a long-term European strategic approach.
  2. Put in place actions to support SMEs in their up-skilling towards strategic technological innovation, seen as the starting point of their path of resilience towards autonomy, while strengthening European sovereignty in the defence sector. Supporting measures include thematic training workshops and financial support actions.
  3. "Go-to-international," i.e. additional supporting measures to help SMEs acquire skills in third-country markets. The aim is to promote action plans to improve the European position in the value chain by supporting innovation processes and pushing SMEs to strengthen cooperation with key public and private groups in domestic, European and international markets.



LEVIATAD Consortium


The LEVIATAD consortium brings together the expertise and value chains needed to successfully address the project's key objectives, including stakeholders and and experts in marine and defense technologies, and maximizing the impact of joint actions at European level. The project partnership includes five clusters tasked with engaging SMEs that will benefit from the services put in place to foster their innovation and internationalization, and the Special Agency Riviere di Liguria (Chamber of Commerce Savona, Imperia and La Spezia) specialized in enhancing internationalization, and contact point with the European Enterprise Network (EEN).





(Project leader) Distretto Ligure delle Tecnologie Marine

Viale N. Fieschi 18, 19123 – La Spezia 

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The Ligurian Cluster of Marine Technology (DLTM) promotes research, innovation, and training by fostering continuous interaction and synergy between research institutions and businesses. The cluster involves about 120 enterprises - of which 82 are SMEs - the University of Genoa, the three main national public research institutions based in Liguria (CNR, ENEA, INGV) involved in maritime and marine research and technology development, and large companies (Fincantieri, Leonardo, Intermarine, Termomeccanica) engaged in the production and development of marine technologies both software and hardware. The cluster also includes medium and large enterprises operating in the information technology sector. The DLTM, which represents Ligurian regional excellence on specific technologies, operates nationally and internationally in the field of naval technologies for both the defense and civilian sectors, in technologies for shipbuilding and pleasure craft, and in monitoring, restoration and safety of marine ecosystems. DLTM is responsible for promoting collaboration between the maritime industry and marine science by supporting research, innovation, education and new synergies between public and private organizations.


Via M. Coppino 116, 55049 – Viareggio 

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 ITALY Scarl (NAVIGO) established in Viareggio in 2007 as a strategic support center for leisure boats enterprises in different segments of their market: yachting production, refitting services, tourism on the sea and port organization. With these goals Navigo has initiated a wide range of services to businesses: certification, design, training, innovation, financing, international promotion, and communication. The company has about 100 members and 320 associates, and it is the refrence point of the Tuscan regional public administration for the coordination of the network of local agencies aiming to improve the competitiveness of the leasure boats industry, promoting opportunities for innovation and coordinating the PENTA network (Centro di Innovazione per la Nautica da Diporto e le Tecnologie Navali della Toscana). Navigo is in close contact with all universities and research centers in Tuscany. In particular, the company is able to take advantage of the analysis, research and development expertise of the following centers: University of Pisa, University of Siena, University of Florence, Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna of Pisa, ISTI CNR PISA.





Azienda Speciale Riviere di Liguria

Piazza Europa 16, 19020 - La Spezia

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Riviere di Liguria (RIVLIG) is the Special Agency of the Riviere di Liguria Chamber of Commerce, comprising the provinces of Imperia, Savona and La Spezia, which has been operating since October 1995 for the economic promotion of its territory, with particular reference to SMEs, consortia, clusters and local authorities. Riviere di Liguria is an independent agency with its own statute, board, budget and financial administration. Since 2019, the Agency has been a partner in ALPI, one of five interregional consortia in Italy responsible for managing the Enterprise Europe Network (EEN). The company's main areas of activity are green and blue economy, marine technologies, dual-use activities, yacht and ship building, ICT, tourism, agribusiness, environment and integrated local development. Riviere di Liguria also participates in numerous EU/Interreg projects to directly or indirectly support local SMEs, and has developed a strong collaboration on events and activities with EDIC Provincia della Spezia, Eures and West Med Initiative - National Hub for Italy.





Toulon Var Technologies

Maison du numerique et de l’innovation Place G. Pompidou, 83000 - Toulon



Toulon Var Technologies (TVT) is an organization created in 1988 by the association of public and private actors dedicated to supporting innovative ecosystems in the Var region of southern France, with more than 600 members including regional and local institutions, research and development centers, SMEs and large companies working to promote innovation. Serving innovative companies, startups and entrepreneurs, TVT supports innovation in all its dimensions: products, services, new technologies, uses and organizational approaches. TVT has two business units: TVT Innovation and Pole Mer Méditerranée. In 2018, TVT Innovation became the new metropolitan economic development Agency of Toulon Provence Méditerranée (TPM). Its mission is to strengthen the strategic entrepreneurial ecosystem, and it is also a member of the regional consortium for EDIH Move2Digital with SCS PMM/TVT/SF. TVT/System Factory is TVT's defense division cluster dedicated to accelerating integration and innovation in the defense sector. System Factory has a specific agreement with the French Ministry of Defense called "GIMNOTE," which allows it to propose innovations for SMEs to be sponsored on behalf of the General Directorate of Armaments, the procurement agency of the Ministry of Defense, and to improve the use of new technologies.





De Blauwe Cluster

Bluebridge, Wetenschapspark 1, 8400 – Oostende 

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The Blauwe Cluster (BC) is a not-for-profit organization of more than 180 private companies and 18 public partners working in the blue economy. The Blue Cluster is recognized by the Flemish government as a cluster of excellence. It focuses on innovation trajectories to stimulate blue growth, but IT also acts as a sectoral federation that advocates and promotes a sustainable blue industry. By incorporating cutting-edge SMEs into the cluster organization and innovation projects, the Blue Cluster ensures the acceleration of business growth. In addition to its role in innovation, the cluster leads the development of the Flanders Blue Strategy, providing policy advice to Flemish authorities on the implementation of the strategy. The cluster focuses on offshore renewable energy (fixed and floating offshore wind, floating photovoltaics, offshore hydrogen production, etc.), clean and smart shipping, coastal defence with nature-based solutions, marine aquaculture and blue biotechnology, sustainable coastal tourism and ocean health, and waste solutions.





Hrvatski Klaster Konkurentnosti Obrambene Industrije

Trnsko 23, 10000 - Zagreb

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The vision of the Croatian Competitiveness Cluster of Defense Industry (CCCDI) is to continuously stimulate and encourage the innovativeness of national scientific and production resources for defence and security, as well as to increase the share of investment in research and development for the realization of new products and services. The cluster's work, capabilities, and projects have been recognized in several key strategic documents for the development of the Republic of Croatia, such as the Croatian Innovation Strategy 2014-2020 and the Smart Specialization Strategies of Croatia 2016-2020.  One of the main goal of the cluster is to serve as a constant platform for support and exchange of ideas between business entities dealing with defense-security production and scientific and state institutions, in order to produce new products and services that address current and future security threats for society as a whole.  The aim of the cluster is also to promote a unified position among defense industry players toward state institutions and policymakers concerning issues of scientific research, technological development and modernization. Collaboration in research and development and new innovative projects are crucial for the technological advancement of the entire industrial sector of the Croatian Republic, and to encourage investment and cooperation with a view to strengthening the national economy.



Project's work plan and results


The entire project is divided into a series of  interconnected work packages (WPs) that aim to guide partners' action towards the achievement of project's main objectives. The whole structure has a sequential character and WPs are divided in three categories: 

  • knowledge creation (WP1)
  • supporting measures (WP 2, 3 e 4)
  • cross-cutting to all project activities (WP 1, 5 e 6)










Actions dedicated to small and medium-sized enterprises



On-line co-creating session (29/06/2023)


The workshop is the first in a series of actions dedicated to SMEs, to which is reserved a specific call aiming at finacially supporting their innovation and internationalization activities. The objective of the session is to make synergies among PMI emerge, identify eventual collaborations and publicize the main features of the call for proposals envisaged by the project


For more information about the on-line co-creating session and the thematic workshop series please visit the following link.


To signal your interest towards LEVIATAD's activities you can register here


Alternatively, to directly receive the call for proposals dedicated to financially support SME, please register here your contact.



Call for proposals "Supporting the innovation and internationalizations of small and medium-sized European small and medium-sized enterprises in the defence sector" (03/07/2023 - 04/09/2023)


The call is the project's leading activity, providing direct and non-repayable financial support to innovation and internationalization projects of 50 European SMEs and startups operating (or willing to operate) in the naval and aeronaval defence sector.


Through a maximum €20.000 grant, the call funds projects that fall within the thematic areas (investment priorities) identified following the implementation of WP1, and that aim to foster: 

  1. innovation, green transition and digitalization;
  2. the presence of European SMEs within international value chains.


The opening period of the call is 03/07/2023 - 04/09/2023. Awarded projects shall be implemented during a 8-months-period since the signature of the Grant agreement, not exceeding August 1st, 2024.


For more information about the call please visit the inherent page in our website. 


Alternatively, to download the call and the necessary documents to apply, visit the project's official webpage at



Webinar series about the opportunities in the naval and aeronaval defense sector (20/09, 27/09 and 04/10/2023)


Following the first event dedicated to networking and the sharing of ideas, LEVIATAD is organizing a series of thematic virtual seminars dedicated to SMEs and start-ups who want to learn about the opportunities in the naval defense sector and understanding how to seize them.


The schedule includes three different online events:


  • Wednesday, September 20, 2023, (11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.): "Access to Funds and Financing for SMEs in the Naval Defense Industry"
  • Wednesday, September 27, 2023, (11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.): "Digital Transformation in the Naval Defense Industry: Opportunities for SMEs"
  • Wednesday, October 4, 2023, (11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.): "Cross-border collaboration in the naval defense industry: best practices and case studies"


For more information on the webinar series you can visit the dedicated page on our website.


To register to the events click here.

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