The European Commission has on Tuesday adopted work programmes to co-finance joint defence industrial projects in 2019-2020 worth up to 500 million euros. A further EUR 25 million have been earmarked to support collaborative defence research projects in 2019, with calls for proposals launched today.
EUR 500 mn to finance joint defence industrial projects
The EC said that with today's decisions, it kick-starts the first EU-funded joint defence industrial projects through the European Defence Industrial Development Programme (EDIDP). This will focus on areas including drone technology, satellite communication, early warning systems, artificial intelligence, cyberdefence or maritime surveillance.
The first EDIDP work programme agreed with the Member States provides EUR 500 million in co-financing for the joint development of defence capabilities during 2019-2020. In the coming days the Commission will publish 9 calls for proposals for 2019, and 12 further calls will follow for 2020. These calls will cover priority areas in all domains - air, land, sea, cyber and space:
The calls on Future Disruptive Defence Technologies will look at how best the EU can support disruptive technologies in defence that may lead to transformational changes in the military. This will help prepare the ground for the European Defence Fund which could allocate up to 8% of its budget for disruptive technologies.
Eligible consortia can apply to the 2019 calls for proposals until the end of August. The first projects will be selected before the end of 2019, followed by the official signing of grant agreements.
With both programmes now operational and running, the Commission is paving the way for a fully-fledged European Defence Fund for the next financial period 2021-2027.