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EDA-Egmont PhD Prize awarded

Andrea Gilli received the EDA-Egmont PhD Prize during the European Defence Agency’s (EDA) Annual Conference held on 16 November 2015. The award was handed over by Prof Sven Biscop, Director of “Europe in the World Programme” at the Egmont Institute, and Rini Goos, EDA Deputy Chief Executive. 

The biannual EDA-Egmont PhD prize is awarded by the European Defence Agency and the Egmont Institute to academic scholars to stimulate research in the field of European defence, security and strategy. This year’s winner, Andrea Gilli, is a post-doctoral fellow at the Centre for Security Studies, Metropolitan University Prague, and his research on armaments cooperation has received recognition. The awarded thesis is titled “Unipolarity, Technological Change and Arms Manufacturing: Industrial Alliances in the European Defense Industry”.

Before handing over the award, Rini Goos, EDA Deputy Chief Executive, raised the issue of the future visions which often combine the practitioner’s and academic perspectives: “The practitioner’s view comes from accumulated experience, realism, pragmatism and an understanding of the practical mechanics of defence and diplomacy. The academic view on the other hand is blessed by being outside the system and provides objectivity, independence, innovation and analysis in a global context. Together, these perspectives provide a complete picture.” 

Prof Sven Biscot pointed out that the winner of the prize delivered a very courageous thesis based on an extensive and empirical material, and that it presents very concrete ideas for defence policies. 

“It is an honour to be here today to receive this prize and to share the contents of my research with you,” said Andrea Gilli. “In the age of fast technological change and budgetary constraints, we often hear that European countries have to increase their cooperation on future military technologies,” he said and added that such cooperation may be extremely difficult because of “the process of technological disruption”. In his thesis, Gilli dwells upon, among other things, various aspects of cooperation in armaments production, technological advancement as well as implications for the European defence industrial base.



EDA-Egmont PhD prize was created in 2013 to stimulate research in the field of European defence, security and strategy. The unique partnership enables Egmont to ensure academic substance while the EDA exposes the research to the heart of the European policy making.

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