Centre for Maritime Research and Experimentation

The Centre for Maritime Research and Experimentation

Dr Eric Pouliquen

Director of CMRE


Directed by Dr Eric Pouliquen, the Centre for Maritime Research and Experimentation (CMRE) is an established, world-class NATO scientific research and experimentation facility located in an Italian Navy compound, in La Spezia, Italy.

CMRE is the only NATO in-house laboratory and an executive body of the NATO Science and Technology Organization (STO) along with the NATO Collaboration Support Office and Office of the Chief Scientist (OCS). CMRE operates under North Atlantic Council (NAC) authority through the Military Committee (MC) and the Conference of National Armaments Directors (CNAD).

With over 60 years of knowledge and experience in undersea research, formed under its previous establishments NURC and SACLANTCEN, CMRE is a recognized centre of world-class expertise in the maritime domain. The Centre is a collaboration hub for scientists from all NATO Nations to work together to maintain NATO’s maritime military edge through science and technology.

Today, the scope of the Centre’s work encompasses the fields of artificial intelligence, big data analytics, underwater acoustics, oceanography, autonomous systems, quantum technologies and climate change and security studies.

Underpinning CMRE’s success in maritime research over the years is its global sea-going capability, the Centre conducts cutting-edge maritime experimentation and demonstration by operating two NATO research vessels in extremely challenging conditions from the Mediterranean Sea to the Arctic Ocean.
The mission of CMRE is to organize and conduct scientific research and technology development and deliver innovative and field-tested science and technology (S&T) solutions to address the defence and security needs of the Alliance, centred on the maritime domain.

What is CMRE

CMRE is NATO’s knowledge repository for maritime S&T, offering a trusted platform for NATO Nations and partners to work together and to share science and technology. CMRE provides a science and technology framework through which NATO realizes the benefits of ownership by enforcing the values of the Alliance while reducing risks, costs, and aligning national interests and ambitions. The intellectual capital thus generated has great value in creating operational advantage and equipping the future force.​

Sea-going capabilities and at-sea experimental activities

Achieving NATO Smart Defence and Connected Forces Initiatives directions and goals at sea

CMRE produces top-notch scientific advice and contributes to proven technological solutions for capability gaps. CMRE also offers the opportunity for collaboration in maritime and joint programmes to support acquisition, enhance interoperability and generally, prepare better for the future.

The Centre is a working example of enabling Nations to work more effectively and efficiently together by prioritising national needs, focusing on research and technology challenges, both in and out of the maritime environment, through the collective power of its world-class scientists, engineers, and specialized laboratories in collaboration with the many partners in and out of the scientific domain.

This also makes CMRE an ideal base for S&T cooperation with the EU and offers opportunities to collaborate with national S&T institutes, the wider academic world and industry. Last but not least, CMRE is an exciting place in which to work, situated at an ideal location on the sea and near a main port, enabling synergy with regional and global academic institutes and potentially industry.

Scientific research

CMRE conducts relevant, state-of-the-art scientific research in ocean science, modelling and simulation, acoustics and other disciplines,  that is potentially game changing.

CMRE contributes new technologies enabling access to unmanned systems that have the ability to sense, comprehend, predict, communicate, plan, make decisions and take appropriate actions to achieve mission goals. This provides operators with new technologies across the spectrum of expeditionary kinetic and non-kinetic capabilities required to defeat traditional threats decisively and confront irregular challenges effectively.

CMRE also provides Science & Technology enhancements to unmanned vehicles and vessels, integrated defence systems, and autonomous intelligent systems that better enable operators to complete missions in hostile environments by avoiding, defeating and surviving attacks.

Research Vessels

NRV Alliance

ALLIANCE was designed in the mid 80’s as a quiet acoustic research platform and has a crew of 44 Italian naval personnel and can accommodate in comfortable single and double cabins up to 25 scientists.

CRV Leonardo

Manned by a crew of 9 Italian navy personnel, the ship can accommodate up to 11 scientists and engineers in day activity and 3 scientists onboard for extended night activities.

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News and Events

Arctic Climate Observatory 2024: CMRE’s Mission to Collect data from Arctic Depths
CMRE scientists start research mission in the Arctic Sea
CMRE scientists and engineers among 2,500 participants at CWIX

Science and Technology Organization

Centre for Maritime Research and Experimentation (STO CMRE)

Postal address
Postal address USA and Canada