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EDA opens contest for best defence research papers

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European Defence Agency (EDA) has published on 9 February 2024 its call for applications to its EDA Research, Technology, and Innovation Papers Award 2024. The competition, now in its second year, focuses on innovative technologies, processes, and applications for enhanced future defence capabilities. EDA is looking to hear from early career researchers before the deadline for applications on 29 March 2024. The awards will be presented at Eurosatory in Paris in June with each prize winner receiving €4,000.

Innovators of tomorrow

This year, papers shall be related to the topic of “Innovative technologies, processes, and applications for enhanced future defence capabilities.” The winning entries will come up with ideas which, if implemented between now and 2035, would contribute to enhance specific EU defence capabilities. Entries will be judged on their quality and impact, with a special emphasis on technology and innovation to help cover the European Union’s defence needs and shortfalls.

The contest aims to promote and support the work of early career researchers by introducing their work to the defence community, stimulate engagement of innovators to widen their access to emerging and potentially disruptive research, and identify areas in which additional investment is needed to address future defence capability needs. 

More than a prize

EDA’s award seeks to increase the visibility and impact of tomorrows innovators, with the contest conceived to offer more than just the financial prize. The winners will have the opportunity to expose their ideas during the dedicated session at EUROSATORY 2024 exhibition and conference in Paris on 19 June, 2024. An official EDA Booklet of papers to be edited and published in a scientific review by EDA, including ISBN (International Standard Book Number) reference. The Best Papers Award and names of the winners will also receive coverage on the EDA website and social media channels.

How to apply?

The deadline for submitting applications is 29 March 2024, with the following documents.

The contest is open to all citizens of EDA’s 27 participating Member States. For the first time in 2024 the contest is open also to citizens from Switzerland.


The EDA Research, Technology, and Innovation Papers Award is done under the ‘’umbrella’’ of HEDI (Hub for EU Defence Innovation), which is the new platform for innovation, led by EDA, that was established in March 2022 as an action derived from "Strategic Compass for EU Defence and Security’’.

HEDI has the objective of fostering innovative technological solutions following a systemic approach towards cutting-edge military capabilities. Furthermore, HEDI serves as a platform to stimulate and facilitate cooperation on defence innovation while ensuring synergies with related European Commission activities, notably the EU defence innovation scheme, coherence of output with NATO innovation and other EU Defence Innovation organizations.

This Call for Papers complements other HEDI’s services, such as e.g., the EDA Defence Innovation Prizes, or Proofs-of-Concept.

EDA's wider role  

EDA supports its 27 Member States in improving their defence capabilities through European cooperation. Acting as an enabler and facilitator for Ministries of Defence willing to engage in collaborative capability projects, the Agency has become the hub for European defence cooperation with expertise and networks allowing it to the whole spectrum of defence capabilities.  

Member States use EDA as an intergovernmental expert platform where their collaborative projects are supported, facilitated, and implemented. For more details, please see here