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European Defence Fund gets €1 billion boost

European Defence Fund gets €1 billion boost
25 May 2022

The Commission announced the adoption of the second annual work programme of the European Defence Fund (EDF). The EDF 2022 work programme will allocate up to a total of €924 million in funding. One week after the Joint Communication on Defence investment gaps, the Commission unlocks new funding to invest together and better in strategic defence capabilities. Additionally, the 2022 work programme introduces a series of new tools to promote defence innovation, all under one new umbrella called the EU Defence Innovation Scheme (EUDIS). Already announced in the Commission's Defence Package of 15 February 2022, EUDIS will work in close partnership with EDA's Innovation Hub.

The EDF helps reduce the fragmentation of the European defence capability development landscape. It also enhances industrial competitiveness and promotes interoperability throughout Europe. The 2022 EDF work programme addresses in total 33 topics structured along eight calls for proposals – to be opened in early June - to kick-start a number of large emblematic projects. It targets relevant defence technologies and capabilities in line with the EU capability priorities commonly agreed by Member States and further elaborated in the Strategic Compass. In addition, the 2022 EDF work programme also ensures continuity of funding for some important projects initiated under the two EDF precursor programmes.

This year, with a budget of more than €120 million for each, two critical domains will be put in the spotlight to support capability developments: Space and Naval combat.

In addition, €70 million will be allocated to R&D efforts in each of the two following categories: Cyber and Information superiority

The EU Defence Innovation Scheme will bring under one umbrella relevant EU initiatives in support of defence innovation and entrepreneurship. Proven practices originating from civil innovation will be used for the defence sector. In the 2022 EDF work programme, the Commission launches a set of actions to support innovative entrepreneurs, start-ups and SMEs and bring them into the defence industrial ecosystem:

  • A defence equity facility
  • Technological challenge
  • Chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) Framework Partnership Agreement

These new measures will complement the current support to disruptive technologies and SMEs through recurrent dedicated calls for proposals aimed at fostering innovation. The aim of the Commission is to generate until 2027 a total investment of up to €2 billion into defence innovation, triggered by the EDF, under the EU Defence Innovation Scheme. The Scheme will help implement the EU's Action Plan on synergies between civil, defence and space industries.

Image © European Commission

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