The European Defence Fund for Space Capabilities
Space technology is playing an increasingly critical role in military operations. The EU recognises the importance of space capabilities for defence applications and is furthering its push to invest in new initiatives to develop and foster the competitiveness of its space systems. Thus, on 30 March 2023, the 2023 Work Programme for the European Defence Fund was adopted by the Commission.
The European Defence Fund 2023 Work Programme will provide €1.2 billion for defence RD&I through its annual calls for proposals
Space-based or space-enabled capabilities provide fast, continuous, and discreet services for situational awareness worldwide, including in space. They also support decision-making and military operations conducted while enabling assessments for specific results in the field. Military-class space capabilities must therefore provide secure, available, and high-performance services in an evolving threat environment.
Alongside this, the commercial sector has also been growing with a surge in projects from established and new actors. These projects propose disruptive concepts and services, such as constellations of small satellites, whose potential for defence applications is yet to be fully explored.
The following calls have been identified as being relevant to space technology and space-based assets or as enablers of them:
- Threat surveillance and protection of space-based assets
- Initial operational capacity for Space situational awareness C2 and sensors
- Full-Spectrum Cyber Situational Awareness for Enhanced Cyberspace Operations Support
- Non-thematic research actions targeting disruptive technologies for defence
The identified calls from the European Defence Fund Work Programme will support the development of these critical space capabilities for military operations, promoting European cooperation in space and ensuring the EU’s strategic autonomy. Synergies between civil, defence, and space industries will also be further facilitated by the work programme under the umbrella of the EU Defence Innovation Scheme (EUDIS).
Submissions open on 15 June 2023 and close on 22 November 2023.
Find more opportunities at our opencalls.space portal.
European Defence Fund (EDF) Info Days 2023
On 28-29 June 2023, the European Commission will organise an Information Day and a Networking Event for potential applicants to the European Defence Fund (EDF) 2023 calls for proposals.
Visit our events page to learn more via the link: https://www.groundstation.space/event/european-defence-fund-edf-info-days-2023/
The Open Calls Network
In 2022, the Netherlands Space Office (NSO) and Groundstation.Space launched the Open Calls Network. This network promotes the uptake of space data funding opportunities, which it collects in a dedicated database, and disseminates through a series of webinars. You can watch the replays and download all contact and funding information here:
- Climate Neutral and Smart Cities
- Digital and Industry
- Safety and Defence
- Restore Our Oceans and Water
- Adaptation to Climate Change
- Farm to Fork / A Soil Deal for Europe
DotSpace Open Calls Deep Scan Service
In addition to our frequent publications about funding opportunities for space applications, we also offer a deep scan of all open calls specifically for your business, resulting in a tailor-made recommendation of the relevant calls.
Visit the Open Calls Deep Scan Page to learn more via the link: https://www.groundstation.space/about-dotspace/open-calls-deep-scan/