“Civilisation of the Sea. The underwater world as a new environment for mankind”: a conference promoting knowledge of the maritime dimension

22 March 2023

A study day, promoted by the Leonardo-Civiltà delle Macchine Foundation and the Italian Navy, will be held on 27 March at the Naval Academy of Livorno to analyse economic and geostrategic aspects related to the sea.

The aim of the conference entitled “Civilisation of the Sea. The underwater world as a new environment for mankind” is to analyse the various aspects related to the maritime dimension, from the Blue Economy to energy issues, through to geopolitical strategies affecting the submarine environment,  also from the point of view of safety. These themes are also covered in the white paper “Italy’s role in the geopolitics, strategies and interests connected with the underwater world”, to be presented on 27 March at the historic Naval Academy of Livorno.

Organised by the Leonardo – Civiltà delle Macchine Foundation and the Italian Navy in collaboration with Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (Italy’s National Research Council) and Rome’s La Sapienza University, the initiative aims to draw attention to the importance of the underwater dimension as a new playing field for the world’s international powers. This is an environment that needs to be protected and is yet to be fully explored, only 20% of the sea floor having been observed and mapped to date. And yet, here run data traffic cables, so essential for communication, as well as power lines and pipelines; here lie mineral resources, including rare-earth elements; here, defence and security activities are conducted. The sea is also a trade route - suffice it to say that about 90% of the world's goods embark on at least one sea journey before reaching their destination; it is a place that fosters coastal and maritime tourism; it is a food-rich environment high in natural resources and biodiversity, essential for the health and maintenance of our ecosystem.

The initiative seeks to focus the attention of decision-makers and of stakeholders in the various sectors involved, as well as that of the younger generations and the general public, on the need to define ocean governance factors through a single point of contact that can manage regulatory aspects and ensure adequate protection of activities conducted above and below the sea surface.

 The day’s events, which will be attended by the heads of the main institutions involved - research centres, academies and national industrial organisations - will be split into two round tables: one devoted to analysing the strategic value, legal issues and training aspects of this sector; and the other, held in the afternoon, dedicated to the technological challenges, industrial capabilities and opportunities related to the submarine world.

Among others, the event will be attended by Leonardo’s top executives, the Chairman Luciano Carta and the CEO Alessandro Profumo, as well as Italy’s Minister for Defence Guido Crosetto and Navy Chief of Staff Enrico Credendino.


For the conference programme, please click here.