European defence industrial development program

 European defence industrial development program

The European Commission will start in 2021 with the European Defence Fund (EDF), a program aimed at strengthening the European defence industry. The EC and the Member States want to achieve this by funding projects that focus on research and development of new defence technology. To participate, you must collaborate internationally on topics that are prescribed in work programs. Prior to this EDF, the EC has issued a number of preparatory calls, so that the EC as well as Member States, industry, knowledge institutions and universities can gain experience with European defence projects. Some of these projects focus on research, another part of these projects focus on defence technology development. The European Defence Industrial Development Program (EDIDP) has been set up in the preparatory program that focuses on the development of defence technology. 

In this European program there is a focus on the use of space and space technologies.

In preparation for the EDF, the European Commission has launched the European Defence Industrial Development Program (EDIDP). This is a smaller field test for the EDF, focused on industrial development.

In the period 2019 – 2020, € 500 million is available for this over two calls, the first of which is open from now until 29 August 2019. The final EDF is expected to have a budget of € 13 billion in the period 2021-2027.

Consortia of at least three companies located in at least three different Member States are eligible for the EDIDP. The EDIDP is intended for various activities in the development of a new product from a proven Proof of Concept (from TRL 5), namely:

Feasibility study;
Design of products;
Testing of products;
Extend the life cycle of products.

The subsidy amount for these activities can amount to 100% of the eligible costs. The exact amount depends, among other things, on the activities and the parties and countries involved. The ineligible part is preferably paid by the Ministries of Defence of the countries of the project partners.

The current opening concerns eight specific topics and one open call for SMEs. This last call is particularly interesting, because any development project with a link with defence (from weapon system to lightweight toilet) fits from SMEs.

The eight specific topics of this opening are:

  • Multipurpose unmanned ground system
  • Permanent air or space capabilities for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) and communication, tactical Remotely Piloted Air Systems (RPAS) and sensor suite for integration into air-traffic management
  • Cyber ​​situational awareness and defense capabilities, military networks and technologies for secure communication and information sharing
  • Positioning, Navigation and Timing (PNT) and satellite communication capabilities
  • European Command and Control (C2) system from strategic to tactical level
  • Upgrade of current and development of next generation ground-based precision strike capabilities
  • Air combat capabilities
  • Future naval platforms and related technologies

The calls have opened on Wednesday 15 April. The closing date is Tuesday December 1, 2020. 

For more information and cooperations, please contact

Martijn Seijger

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