French technology provider Thales Group, which has invested €1 billion ($1.2 billion) in key digital technologies over the past three years, has launched a high-tech Digital Factory as the company accelerates its digital transformation across all areas of advanced technology, enabling customers to make the right decisions in real time.

According to Thales, the Digital Factory is a fully fledged digital platform that will bring together the best experts in key digital technologies to serve Thales’s customers on its five core markets: aerospace, space, ground transportation, defense and security. Thales said around 150 “world-class experts will be recruited internally and externally by 2018.” To finance this new initiative, Thales will invest €150 million over three years.

The Digital Factory will be located in Paris, “in direct proximity to the capital’s digital ecosystem, and will ultimately be part of an expanded network in the UK, US, Canada and Asia to create closer integration and synergies with the ecosystems that are guiding and shaping innovation globally,” the company said. It will also host an incubator for internal and external startups as well as a digital academy to promote digital culture across the Thales organization.

The group has also signed a strategic cybersecurity partnership with STATION F, a Paris startup campus to manage its cybersecurity program, which is scheduled to open July 1. “Thales’ mission is to accelerate the development of an initial 20 startups by providing advice, technical expertise and access to its technology platforms in order to co-develop the most innovative solutions with applications in the group’s markets,” the company said in a statement.

Linda Blachly linda.blachly@penton.com