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Call issued for EDA Defence Innovation Prize 2021

EDA today issued a call for applications from parties interested in participating in the ‘EDA Defence Innovation Prize 2021’ which is dedicated this year to the topic: Innovative solutions & technologies on Human-Machine Interfaces enabling Human-Machine-Teaming for Defence.

The EDA contest is rewarding companies and research entities who come up with innovative and ground-breaking technologies, products, processes or services applicable in the defence domain.

Applicants are called to come up with stimulating innovative solutions & technologies on Human Machine Interfaces to enable Human Machine Teaming for Defence Applications in Air, Land and Maritime platforms. 

Examples of these technologies are:

  • Gesture commands
  • Head and tracking; eye gesture and wide area eye tracking
  • Voice commands and 3-D audio
  • Immersive technologies such as virtual and augmented reality
  • Wearable human-machine-interfaces
  • Human multi-asset interaction
  • Haptic control and feedback
  • Virtual Assistants
  • Crew Monitoring System such as brain computing interface and pilot sensing and monitoring
  • Stress and health monitoring
  • Autonomous decision-making functions such as human-AI interaction.

Medical and casualties evacuation, supply chain and precision air drop or intelligence, surveillance & reconnaissance (ISR) are only some examples of domains where the innovation on these technologies could enable Human Machine Teaming for Defence operations.

The winning idea/concept will be worth 30,000€.

How to apply?

The deadline for submitting applications is 31 August 2021. 

The contest rules and application criteria/details can be found here, rules corrigendum, corrigendum 2 (plus the annexes to the call for applications here).

The prize winner will be selected by an evaluation committee composed of EDA staff. The prize will be handed over during the 2021 EDA Annual Conference in Brussels later this year.

Submitted innovations must be the applicants’ own intellectual property. However, submissions may include improvements of already existing ideas, new combinations or adaptations of them applicable in a different context. The applicants must demonstrate the innovative added-value of their ideas, compared to what exists already. Proposals must be innovative, implementable through a collaborative project and financially affordable in terms of future development and exploitation.

Who can apply?

The contest is especially (but not exclusively) aimed at non-traditional defence industries (civil or dual-use producers) and researchers as they play a growing role in inventing and creating the disruptive capabilities that Member States’ Armed Forces will need tomorrow. The contest also provides a good opportunity for small and medium sized enterprises, research organisations and universities involved in defence R&D activities to demonstrate their know-how, maximize dual-use synergies and create partnerships with key players in the defence field.


Since 2018, the Agency organises the 'EDA Defence Innovation Prize' which rewards companies and research entities who come up with ground-breaking technologies, products, processes or services applicable in the defence domain. The contest aims to stimulate defence innovation in Europe and provide non-traditional defence stakeholders (civil industries, SMEs, research organisations, universities, etc.) with an opportunity to showcase their know-how in domains relevant for defence.

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