The European Defence Agency is launching a new Request for Projects (RFP) on dual-use technologies which could be supported by EDA to benefit from European Structural and Investment Funds.
The initiative aims to identify innovative dual-use research and technology projects which could be funded by European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF). These projects, to be submitted to the national Ministries of Defence (MoD), will be selected by MoDs and EDA based on eligibility and performance criteria. Small & medium-sized entreprises, large companies, research centres, academia as well as public bodies can assume the role of a project holder.
Selected projects will benefit from free and tailored technical assistance provided by an international consulting firm, specifically contracted by EDA to support this initiative. This technical support aims to fully develop the project folder (to be ultimately submitted to ESIF managing authorities) and, therefore, maximise its chance to access ESIF co-funding.
This new procedure builds on a successful EDA pilot call launched in 2013. It led to the selection of project “Turtle” as part of which a Portuguese consortium was granted access to an ESIF financial support in order to develop key enabling technologies for sustainable and long-term presence in the deep ocean. The total budget was over €1 million, 60% of which was provided through ESIF.
Originally created to implement EU policy by reducing economic disparities at regional level, structural funds have an important role to play in the development of dual-use technologies. Over the current programming period that runs from 2014 to 2020, around €200 billion have been earmarked as part of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), one of the ESI funds under which research and innovation activities can be supported.
Dual-use research aims at developing technologies that could benefit both the civil and the defence sectors, for instance in the field of electronics, nanotechnologies, materials, sensors, or propulsion.