The Pathfinder Foundation has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Maritime Research Center (MRC) based in Pune, India, to collaborate and engage in Undersea Domain Awareness (UDA) research. The signing took place at the premises of the Pathfinder Foundation in Peliyagoda, with Dr. (Cdr.) Arnab Das, Founder and Director of the Maritime Research Center and Dr. Dayaratna Silva, Executive Director of the Pathfinder Foundation, signed on behalf of the two institutions.
The CRM is a nodal research center on acoustic capacity and capacity building. It contributes as a technology-focused think tank to advancing the Underwater Domain Awareness (UDA) framework in the Indo-Pacific region.
After the signing, Dr. (Cdr.) Das held discussions with several Sri Lankan institutions including Prof. Wasantha Rathnayake, Vice Chancellor of the Ocean University of Sri Lanka, Ms. Dharshani Lahadapura, President of the ‘Marine Environmental Protection Authority (MEEPA) and Colonel Pradeep Rathnayake and Dr Sanath de Silva Dean and Senior Lecturer of the Faculty of Defense and Strategic Studies at the Defense University General Sir John Kotelawala, respectively . During these discussions, Dr. Das presented the MRC Underwater Domain Awareness (UDA) Framework with Nir Dhwani Technologies (Pvt.) Ltd. (NDT), which promotes safe, secure and sustainable growth for all in the Indian Ocean region and beyond. The Pathfinder Foundation will take steps for the MRC to establish links with other related Sri Lankan institutions such as the National Aquatic Research Agency (NARA), the Sri Lankan Navy, etc.
MRC and NDT efforts focus on three pillars: policy and technology intervention, acoustic capability, and capacity building. In this regard, multiple activities have been envisioned, and many stakeholders and decision-makers will be involved in advancing the UDA framework. They include collaboration in maritime research and studies, academic exchanges and interaction to deepen understanding, knowledge and information in the underwater realm.
Maritime domain awareness is an area that has captured the attention of the Pathfinder Foundation since 2018, when it hosted the second round of Trincomalee consultations on the theme “Securing and Securing the Bay of Bengal for Common Development and prosperity”.
This conference, jointly organized by the Center for Indo-Lanka Initiatives of the Pathfinder Foundation in cooperation with Carnegie India and the Vivekananda International Foundation of India, devoted one session to discussing the establishment of a Center for Maritime Domain Awareness and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief in Trincomalee for the Bay of Bengal region. Maritime domain awareness was revisited when the Pathfinder Foundation’s flagship event, the “Indian Ocean Security Conference”, was held for the second time in March 2022.
This biennial regional conference attended by Indian Ocean littoral and hinterland states, major maritime powers and international institutions such as IORA also devoted an entire session to maritime domain awareness. in the Indian Ocean region. The Pathfinder Foundation’s collaboration with the Maritime Research Center based in Pune, India, is the first time the Foundation has extended its scope to cover underwater domain awareness, an integral part of domain awareness. maritime.
During the three-year collaboration, the Pathfinder Foundation and the Maritime Research Center will cooperatively conduct research in areas such as maritime security, blue economy and international relations, facilitating academic exchange and interaction for to deepen knowledge, knowledge and information in the field of underwater domain awareness. .