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(Reuters) — Italian defense group Leonardo and U.S. tech giant Microsoft have teamed up to boost the digital transformation of Italy’s public administration and critical national infrastructures, the two companies said in a statement.

The project will focus on data protection and the use of advanced cloud technologies and solutions, they added.

The move comes as the Italian government prepares to create a national cloud hub for public administration’s data that will be financed using a portion of the European funds earmarked to help its economy recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

Rome wants to use cloud technology developed by big overseas firms, Italy’s innovation minister said on Monday, adding, however, that the government would make sure that the data is stored locally.

Under the alliance announced on Wednesday, Leonardo will act as system integrator and cyber-security services provider to help digitalize the data centers of the public administration.

Microsoft will offer advanced technologies and services for productivity, security, cloud and process automation, the two companies said in the joint statement.

In an effort to offer cloud services tailor-made for Italy’s public administration, shipbuilder Fincantieri recently joined forces with Amazon, while phone group Telecom Italia created an alliance with Google.


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