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Call issued for EDA Defence Innovation Prize 2020

The European Defence Agency today issued a call for applications from parties interested in participating in the 2020 edition of the ‘EDA Defence Innovation Prize’ contest rewarding companies and research entities who come up with innovative and ground-breaking technologies, products, processes or services applicable in the defence domain.

This year’s contest will reward innovative defence-related ideas addressing the area of innovative solutions/technologies for the countering of swarms of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), specifically on the protection of static and dynamic land facilities and platforms.

Applicants are expected to propose ideas which, if implemented between now and 2030, would contribute to enhance Member States’ defence capabilities specifically related to:

  • the detection and identification of swarms of small drones (many units acting in a coordinated manner); 
  • mitigation measures incorporating the capability to intercept, disable and neutralise hostile vehicles;
  • and the minimising of collateral damage.

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

Reaching out to non-traditional defence innovators 

The contest is not only open to dedicated and specialised defence companies but to ALL types of industries and research institutions in Europe. The objective is to reach out to the widest possible spectrum of innovative developers and producers - especially small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) - as well as research organisations and universities which are usually not (or not directly) involved in traditional defence R&D activities. Applications from dual-use and civil/commercial innovators and researchers are even particularly encouraged.

The deadline for submissions is 4 September 2020 (5pm Brussels time).

The rules of the contest and the criteria for participation are available here. Information on how to apply can also be found in the contest documentation under the link above.

The prize winners will be notified not later than October 2020. The Defence Innovation Prize award ceremony is scheduled to take place at the EDA Annual Conference 2020, early December, in Brussels.


EDA organises its Defence Innovation Prize since 2018. The previous editions rewarded the most innovative ideas or applications related to: - the integration of multi-robot swarming concepts in support of future defence capabilities in the area of Guidance, Navigation and Control (first part of 2018 call); - autonomous detection, identification and monitoring/sampling/analysis through sensor and platform networking in the area of CBRN protection technologies and techniques (second part of 2018 call); - the use of Artificial Intelligence in defence (2019).