On 11 April, the European Commission adopted the ‘Decision on the financing of the Preparatory Action on Defence Research (PADR) and the use of unit costs for the year 2017’.
In its annexes, the Financing Decision also includes detailed descriptions of three topics/actions for which calls for proposals will be launched in late May 2017, namely:
- A technological demonstrator for enhanced situational awareness in a naval environment. The project aims to show the added value of unmanned systems in enhancing situational awareness while operating alongside and communicating with other manned and unmanned systems;
- Research in technology and products in the context of Force Protection and Soldier Systems. This topic focuses on aspects such as future generic open soldier system reference architecture; technology advancements in tailor-made blast, ballistic and Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) protection of military personnel; as well as novel developments in active and passive military camouflage methods;
- Strategic technology foresight. Proposals will need to develop and validate a methodology and/or process to gather data. These foresight activities will be carried out on a recurring basis. They will be used to develop realistic scenarios of potential future conflicts which will help scoping EU-funded defence research.
The Preparatory Action on Defence Research, which will be run by the European Defence Agency (EDA) through a Delegation Agreement expected to be signed with the European Commission in the coming weeks, is the first step towards a future European defence research programme (EDRP) as part of the EU’s next Multiannual Financial Framework (2021-2027).
The budget for the PADR related actions in 2017 is €25 million. Its main implementation will be through grants. The call for proposals and the participation modalities will be published in late May.