Written by Manel Bernadó Arjona
On 20 July 2022, the European Commission announced that it would grant €1.2 billion to 61 collaborative defence research and development (R&D) projects under the European Defence Fund (EDF). The selected projects focus on a broad range of high-end defence capability development, from next-generation aircraft, ships and tanks to artificial intelligence and cyber capabilities, semiconductors and new materials, and quantum and other potentially disruptive technologies.
The EDF is an instrument of the European Commission to foster collaborative defence cooperation among the EU Member States and companies of all sizes. The EDF is based on the Preparatory Action on Defence Research (PADR) and the European Defence Industrial Development Programme (EDIDP). Its goal is to enhance the interoperability and competitiveness of the EU defence industry.
Almost a third of the EDF’s endowment of nearly €8 billion (2021–2027) will be devoted to funding collaborative defence R&D initiatives against emerging and future threats, with the rest of the funds going into collaborative capability development projects. The funds have been allocated in line with EU defence priorities, including the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO). In its first year in operation, the EDF has overtaken its predecessors and proven to be a success, receiving more than 140 proposals from almost 700 entities across 26 EU states and Norway of all sizes and sectors.
European Commission (2022, July 20). Defence Industry: EU takes steps to invest almost €1.2 billion to support 61 defence industrial cooperation projects. Press Release. Retrieved from: https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/IP_22_4595
Defence Industry and Space (2022, July 20). Results of the EDF 2021 Calls for Proposals: EU invests €1.2 billion in 61 defence industrial cooperation projects. Retrieved from: https://defence-industry-space.ec.europa.eu/results-edf-2021-calls-proposals-eu-invests-eu12-billion-61-defence-industrial-cooperation-projects-2022-07-20_en