dotOcean and Marlinks Collaborate in NATO's DIANA Initiative

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A joint proposal by dotOcean and Marlinks on ‘persistent surveillance above and under water’ has been selected for NATO’s Diana Accelerator Initiative. This comes after evaluating 1300 applications, with only 44 projects chosen, making it the sole Belgian initiative selected.

The first DIANA cohort highlights NATO’s commitment to leveraging innovation for defense and dual-use applications. The chosen initiatives will undergo a fast-track process to tailor their proposed solutions to meet both defence and security requirements.

“dotOcean eagerly collaborates with NATO in developing and deploying an integrated sensor network that includes various sensor types and data fusion software. This technology aims to provide an advanced situational awareness platform, capable of identifying both surface and sub-surface threats. Koen Geirnaert, CEO of dotOcean, expresses enthusiasm about the innovation’s potential in safeguarding critical maritime assets, including offshore wind farm export cables, gas pipelines, and telecommunication cables.”

By integrating various above-water observation tools like radar, cameras, and infrared technology onto offshore infrastructure, and incorporating a sub-surface fiber sensor network using Distributed Acoustic Sensing technology, the system will be designed for continuous, real-time movement monitoring.

Roel Vanthillo, CEO Marlinks, states: “The selection of dotOcean and Marlinks’ proposal by DIANA shows the significance of NATO acknowledging our collective experience in sea monitoring, particularly in Distributed Acoustic Sensing (DAS) and advanced data analytics. As a pioneer in cable integrity monitoring, we can only applaud NATO’s recognition of our expertise in this crucial domain.”

The program will kick off in January 2024 and will consist of grant funding to support the technology development and demonstration, a customized commercial and defence-focused accelerator program and access to test and evaluation resources across the Alliance.



DIANA provides dual-use innovators in NATO countries with funding and a fast track to adapt their solutions for defence and security needs. Emerging and disruptive technologies are shaping the world – and the Alliance is adapting to keep pace. Our Defence Innovation Accelerator for the North Atlantic seeks to unite the best and brightest deep tech innovators in the Alliance to ensure that we are well-prepared to protect our 30 nations and nearly one billion citizens.

About dotOcean

dotOcean provides cloud based control systems for autonomous navigation of vessels/vehicles and advanced situational awareness software for the maritime, civil and security industry. With its unmanned system technology dotOcean enhances operational efficiency, safety and flexibility of vessels and assets at sea by integrating them in a multi agent command and control system.

About Marlinks

Marlinks provides condition-based health monitoring services for submarine power cables. By using fiber optic technology, Marlinks measure the cable’s health status without the need for any additional sensor installations. By continuously crunching data, Marlinks provides end users with real-time actionable insights to drive timely and informed O&M decisions allowing for a predictive maintenance strategy, maximizing energy availability, and resulting in a cost, risk and carbon footprint reduction.

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