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EDA opens 2023 Defence Innovation Prize competition

The European Defence Agency (EDA) issued its call on February 15 for applications for the 2023 edition of the Defence Innovation Prize, which this year is dedicated to technologies for situational awareness and technologies for communication and information systems. A total of two prizes (one prize per category) will be awarded for the best innovative ideas. The prize winners are expected to propose ideas which would, if implemented between now and 2030, contribute to improving and enhancing specific EU defence capabilities. 

The winning ideas or concepts will each be awarded €30,000. 

The EDA Defence Innovation Prize aims to stimulate defence technological innovation in Europe by supporting non-defence Research and Technology (R&T) communities and innovators who are set to play an ever-bigger role in developing and producing Europe’s future defence capabilities.

From 2023, the EDA Defence Innovation Prize is now under the umbrella of the Hub for EU Defence Innovation (HEDI), a  new platform for innovation lead by EDA that was established in March 2022 by the EU’s Strategic Compass for Defence and Security. The innovation prize complements other HEDI’s services such as the EDA Research, Technology and Innovation Papers Award 2023.

How to apply? 

The deadline for submitting applications is 15 June 2023. 

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

The prize will be awarded during EDA's annual conference in Brussels in December. 

What is expected from applicants? 

Submitted innovations must be the applicants’ own intellectual property. However, submissions may include improvements of existing ideas, new combinations, or adaptations thereof and which are applicable in a different context. The applicants must demonstrate the innovative added-value of their ideas, compared to what already exists.  

Proposals must be innovative, implementable through a collaborative project and financially affordable in terms of future development and exploitation. 

The contest is especially, but not exclusively, aimed at non-traditional defence industries, including 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 rules of the contest and the criteria for participation are available here

No specific defence background is required to be considered for the prize, and consideration is open to innovators from all types of industries and research institutions in EDA Member States, including defence and civil/commercial producers, large companies, start-ups / SMEs, and civil research communities.