Created in 1978, GICAT, the Group of French industries for land and air-land defence and security, has more than 380 members. Its members cover a wide range of industrial, research, service and consultancy activities for the benefit of military and civilian, national and international components involved in land and air-land security and/or defence. It has set up the Data Intelligence Cluster which represents a one-stop shop for access to sovereign intelligence and data protection technologies.
For IGN FI, a company specialised in the setting up of geomatic projects throughout the world, the interest in integrating this cluster is strong, as Christophe Dekeyne, General Manager of IGN FI, explains: “The issue of data, its production, updating and dissemination is a fundamental stake in the sovereignty of States, in order to better understand their territory, protect their population and borders, better anticipate crisis, whether they are military, climatic or political, but also to react effectively in case of attacks or disasters. Without this particular attention to the value of data, errors of assessment at headquarters level but also in the field can be made with extremely serious consequences in terms of loss of human life or geopolitical credibility. Governments therefore need to modernise their geographic infrastructures, notably by acquiring reference or value-added data, by setting up more operational geomatics units, by developing adapted tools and by training their personnel in the production and exploitation of geographic reference data for any analysis necessary for the surveillance of the territory or the preparation, execution or return of operational missions.”
IGN FI is a company of the GEOFIT Group and IGN France (French national institute for geographic and forest information), both of which are very involved in France and internationally in the field of defence and civil security. GEOFIT has been involved since 2003 in various outsourcing projects for the production of geographic data for defence, calling on its know-how in tool design, acquisition and information processing. The French Ministry of Defence relies on IGN’s expertise to exploit the potential of spatial imagery, to exchange interoperable data with its allies and to benefit from its know-how and research work in the production and dissemination of geographic data.
IGN FI has distinguished itself over the past few years in border zone mapping and geographic data infrastructure projects for the benefit of States and international organisations such as the World Customs Organisation.