This week, experts from 17 EDA Member States, plus Norway and Switzerland (which have Administrative Agreements in place with the Agency) participated in an EDA online workshop to discuss emerging technologies in defence with a particular focus on energy challenges of next generation military platforms.
The workshop (19-21 January 2021) was part of a wider ongoing series of EDA Technology Foresight Workshops and addressed energy-related and environmental topics and their likely impact on the defence sector, from the security risks created by energy dependencies to potential climate change repercussions and the foreseeable transformations the global energy system will face over the next decades.
This week’s ‘Energy For Future Platforms’ workshop, supported by Ingeniería de Sistemas para la Defensa de Espana (ISDEFE), brought together 145 European subject matter experts who debated current and future defence related energy technologies and linked R&T needs, covering issues such as energy generation, management and storage for platforms. The discussions involved members from several EDA capability & technology groups (CapTech), including the ones on Missiles and Munitions, Air, Naval and Ground Systems, Guidance, Navigation and Control, Materials and Structures, as well as the Agency’s Energy and Environment Working Group. The opening part of the event consisted of a plenary session where keynote speakers introduced the topic and set the scene, followed by breakout sessions where smaller groups (virtual tables) looked into the energy challenges of future military platforms from a range of different perspectives, including alternative fuels, energy storage, management technologies, propulsion and power generation. The workshop was wrapped up with another plenary session during which the results of the virtual tables discussions were presented and summarised.
The workshop results will now be further analysed by EDA in the following weeks with the objective of providing participating Member States with an overview and analysis of upcoming energy-related needs and implications for future military platforms, including gaps and blind spots in the current EU defence energy portfolio. The analysis will also include recommendations on potential EU research goals and synergies in this domain.
EDA’s Technology Foresight Workshops aim to provide input to the EDA process of technology evaluation, including the identification and classification of technology trends and emerging technologies as well as the prioritisation of important technologies with respect to medium- and long-term capability needs. The output of the workshops is used as background information for relevant defence technologies, to be integrated in EDA Strategic Research Agendas (SRAs) and their Technology Building Block (TBB) roadmaps, as well as the Overarching Strategic Research Agenda (OSRA) toolchain, the analyses of Key Strategic Activities (KSA) and in the Strategic Context Cases of the 2018 Capability Development Plan (CDP).