EDA’s Steering Board in Research and Technology (R&T) Director’s composition met today at the Agency, for the first time under the chairmanship of Dr Luisa Riccardi. EDA Chief Executive Jorge Domecq thanked her predecessor, Dr Bryan Wells, for his outstanding chairmanship and contribution to the work of the Agency over the past three years.
Directors discussed the updated version of the Overarching Strategic Research Agenda (OSRA) which provides a necessary link between R&T efforts and the military tasks and long-term capability needs of the Capability Development Plan (CDP).
Combining a top-down approach (from capability needs to technologies) and a bottom-up approach (from new emerging technologies to capabilities), OSRA aims at streamlining Europe’s defence research priorities and informing Member States’ decision-making process on defence research. Practically speaking, OSRA identified a number of R&T areas, the so-called Technology Building Blocks (TBBs), in which a cooperative approach at the European level would bring an added-value to support the development of defence capabilities. In a second step, OSRA will also identify appropriate funding instruments. This information is expected to help Ministries of Defence to decide whether to lead or contribute to cooperative ad-hoc R&T projects and will also inform funding decisions taken in the context of the European Defence Fund (EDF).
Updated OSRA validated
At today’s meeting, R&T Directors validated the outcome of the OSRA review (OSRA v2), including the 139 developed TBBs and the results of the application of the approved OSRA prioritisation methodology. They also tasked EDA Captechs and Working Groups to develop TBB roadmaps for the highly prioritized TBBs by June 2019. In close cooperation with the participating Member States, EDA will continue to update the TBBs and to further investigate cooperation opportunities for each of them, including the appropriate funding instruments. EDA will also look into the Lessons Identified during the prioritisation and implementation phases of OSRA v2. These Lessons Identified will be presented for an initial discussion to the R&T Steering Board in 2020 in view of the next OSRA version, and in synchronisation with the next CDP revision.
R&T Directors also approved the systematic engagement of industry in the EDA defence research prioritisation activities.
EDA’s increasing R&T portfolio
Directors also had the opportunity to be updated on and discuss the status of EDA’s R&T AdHoc portfolio which has exponentially increased over recent years, confirming EDA’s role as an enabler of collaborative R&T opportunities. Between 2016 and 2017, the financial volume of the Agency’s R&T AdHoc portfolio was multiplied by four, and it doubled again in 2018 compared to 2017. In addition, the budgetary value of the 2018 portfolio is almost the highest since 2011 and the predictions for 2019 indicate a further increase by 50% compared to 2018.