The 2020 edition of the Prize, which looked for the most innovative ideas, technologies and solutions for the countering of swarms of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), was won by two winners: an Italian research centre; and an Estonian SME in cooperation with a Finnish University.

What is the EDA Defence Innovation Prize

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

The prize winner will be selected by an evaluation committee composed of EDA staff. The prize will be handed over during the 2020 EDA Annual Conference in Brussels.

The prize winner will also have the opportunity to advertise their ideas in the EDA’s bi-annual magazine (European Defence Matters), on the EDA’ website and through the Agency’s social media channels. Most importantly, the winner will have the possibility to meet partners for future collaborative projects within the EDA framework, potentially eligible for EU R&T co-funding.

Why a Defence Innovation Prize?

The award, organised by EDA since 2018, aims to stimulate defence technological innovation in Europe, in particular by reaching out to non-defence R&T communities and innovators set to play an ever-bigger role in developing and producing Europe’s future defence capabilities. It is also meant to 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, maximize dual-use synergies and engage in partnerships with the defence sector.

What is expected from applicants?

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.

The rules of the contest and the criteria for participation are available here.

No specific defence background is required to participate in the contest which is open to innovators from ALL types of industries and research institutions in the EDA Member States: defence & civil/commercial producers, large companies & SMEs, defence-related & civil research communities. Applications from dual-use and civil/commercial innovators and researchers are even particularly encouraged.

Time schedule

  • 26 MAR 2020
    Launch of the Contest
  • 4 SEP 2020
    Deadline for submissions
  • SEP-OCT 2020
    Assessment of submissions
  • END OCT 2020
    Winners are notified by the EDA
  • 2020 EDA Annual Conference
    EDA Defence Innovation Prize award ceremony in Brussels

If you have any difficulties applying or wish to ask any questions please contact